The Courier

College of DuPage athletic teams put on probation by the NJCAA

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






College of DuPage athletic teams for the 2018-2019 school year have been put on athletic probation by the National Junior College Athletic Association. As a result, COD teams are able to play their regular season, but are no longer eligible for postseason games.

A recent internal audit and an independent review by an outside law firm discovered the violations. Certain documentation was not completed for some students. These include high school transcripts, records of physicals as well as transcripts from transfer students. These findings were not deemed as academic fraud, but date back to 2013. It’s not clear from an official statement how many athletes may have been ineligible during the four-year period of violations. The statement also doesn’t say why college officials initiated the audit or the outside review.

The violations came during former COD Athletic Director Paul Zakowski’s tenure. The college announced the hiring of Greg McVey as the new athletic director this past June. It’s not clear if McVey was told about the violations or possible violations during the interview process. However, the college’s official statement highlights the hiring of McVey as one of the “necessary steps to ensure the integrity of our athletic program.”

According to College of DuPage’s official statement from Dr. Ann Rondeau, these findings were self-reported to the NCJAA, and the college is promoting transparency with this issue.

“In our renewed commitment of strengthening College DuPage’s continued efforts towards transparency at all levels of the institution, we took immediate and appropriate action based on the internal draft audit report findings,” Rondeau said.

According to the school, the athletic department was responsible for obtaining all necessary documentation for student atheltes as required by the NJCAA eligibility. Going forward, this responsibility will now be handled by the Student Records department.

Athletic department officials declined to comment on the situation Friday. They referred all questions to the office of public relations and marketing. The Courier will be speaking with new Athletic Director, Greg McVey, in the near future.

The Courier spoke to one student athlete, Elijah Addison, a member of the COD football team. He enrolled in the fall as an athletic student and stated student athletes were not made aware of this decision until Aug. 30, one day before a public statement was given by Rondeau.

“To be honest, for most teams they feel there is no reason to play this season,” said Addison. “It is unfortunate. I was excited [to play], but it is what it is. We still have opportunities, that is all that matters.”

After observing a Courier reporter speaking with Addison, athletic department staff asked the Courier reporter to leave the facility and, again, directed all questions to public relations personnel. The college’s statement pledges to provide “sufficient support to each student-athlete who may be affected by this internal review and self-report.”

 

Dr. Rondeau’s letter on COD sports teams:

Greetings College of DuPage Community:

In our continued commitment to strengthen transparency throughout the College and develop additional systems to increase internal controls, I am grateful for the hard work that many of you have done to further enhance these efforts.  It is in that same vein that I would like to share some news with you regarding a recent internal audit and independent review of College of DuPage’s Athletic Department by an outside law firm.

At my request, our Internal Auditor conducted various routine audits of College of DuPage departments. During this process, we discovered that—dating back to 2013—the Athletic Department committed several National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association (NJCAA) violations. Based on this review, we recently and voluntarily self-reported these violations to the NJCAA.

According to the draft audit findings, although College of DuPage student-athletes met the requirements for entrance into the College, additional certifications required by the NJCAA for eligibility—such as proof of a high school transcript with graduation date noted, a physical, official transcripts for transfer student-athletes, NJCAA affidavit, etc.—were not completed for some student-athletes during a four-year period. Thus, these students were deemed ineligible to participate in NJCAA-sanctioned sports. Following these draft audit findings, I then requested an independent review by an outside law firm.

It is important to note that the audit findings stated that there was no academic fraud discovered by any member of the Athletic Department staff or school. I am thankful for the positive comments from Ms. Wanda Bodey, Director of Compliance/Eligibility for NJCAA, who shared the following: “First and foremost, I want to thank you for your self-report and thorough internal audit. The integrity of the NJCAA is reliant on the membership doing the right thing.” She went on to state, “Once again, thank you for the self-report and the hard work to improve and be in compliance. The hard work has shown during the 17-18 academic year and we feel confident it will continue to improve.”

I am also pleased to report that we immediately took the necessary steps to ensure the integrity of our Athletic program. These include:

  • The hiring of a new athletic director as approved by the Board of Trustees on June 21, 2018
  • Completion of NJCAA compliance professional development training for various members of the Athletic and Student Records departments
  • The College’s Student Information System is now used to confirm student-athlete eligibility prior to all NJCAA competition activity
  • The Student Records Office is now responsible for verifying student-athlete grades, credit hours, transcripts, and high school graduations. This was previously the responsibility of the Athletic Department.
  • Increasing staffing dedicated to student-athlete issues
  • Ensuring that we provide sufficient support to each student-athlete who may be affected by this internal review and self-report

Due to the self-reported violations, the NJCAA has placed all College of DuPage athletics teams on probation for the 2018-2019 season, which means all teams may continue to participate in the current regular season but are ineligible to participate in any post-season competitions.

I wholeheartedly believe that with new plans, policies and procedures in place, together we can continually enhance the great work that our faculty and staff do every day.  I look forward to forging ahead as we focus on student success.

In abiding service,

Ann

 

Ann E. Rondeau, EdD

President

College of DuPage

Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy (Ret.)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

Comments are closed.

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
College of DuPage's student newspaper | Est. 1967
College of DuPage athletic teams put on probation by the NJCAA