COLUMBIA, MO – Devastating news for the University of Missouri athletics department, the NCAA has issued sanctions on the football, baseball and softball programs following an investigation into a former tutor.
The NCAA’s findings, which can be read in full here, determined the tutor violated NCAA ethical conduct, academic misconduct and academic extra benefits rules by completing coursework for 12 student-athletes, according to a Division I Committee on Infractions panel.
“Simply put, 12 student-athletes did not complete their own work,” the committee stated in the release.
The punishments for the athletic programs are severe, as Mizzou football, baseball and softball have all been issued postseason bans for their upcoming seasons.
Thursday’s news brings an end to a process that began in November, 2016 when former tutor Yolanda Kumar posted to her personal Facebook account claiming to have “knowingly participated in academic dishonesty in my position as a tutor at the University of Missouri-Columbia Intercollegiate Athletic department.” Though the NCAA did not name Kumar in their report Thursday, the investigation began following her social media posts in 2016.
The announcement puts a significant damper on the excitement surrounding the football program’s signing of former Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant as a graduate transfer for the 2019 season. According to NCAA bylaws, Mizzou seniors may be granted the freedom to transfer out of the program if the ruling is upheld following an appeals process.
Reaction to the ruling has been critical of the NCAA based on inconsistencies with Thursday’s punishment doled out to the University of Missouri compared to its investigation into the University of North Carolina in 2017. Reports at the time indicated UNC guidance counselors encouraged student athletes to enroll in fake classes as part of a widespread academic fraud scandal. UNC was not punished by the NCAA.