Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

NCAA Hits JU Men's Soccer with 5-Year Probation

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

NCAA Hits JU Men's Soccer with 5-Year Probation

Article excerpt

Byline: Teneshia L. Wright, Times-Union sports writer

The NCAA put Jacksonville University on five years probation yesterday for violations in its men's soccer program and for exhibiting a lack of institutional control.

The NCAA also wiped out the men's soccer conference championship and NCAA Sweet 16 Tournament appearance in 1998.

"I'm totally in agreement with what the NCAA did," JU president David Harlow said. "Five years of probation is a long period of time. But considering the things they might have done, I'm satisfied."

The NCAA report documented several violations by JUincluding the use of improper recruiting methods for several foreign soccer players, allowing a female rower to exceed her athletic eligibility, admitting several athletes who did not meet published university standards and allowing men's soccer players to ring up a $4,700 phone bill.

Jack Friedenthal, chairman of the NCAA's Committee on Infractions, said JU's punishment could have been more severe. However, the NCAA showed leniency after observing the university's self-imposed penalties, including the dismissals of the soccer and rowing coaches and elimination of two scholarships from the men's soccer program for a three-year period.

"We thought the self-imposed penalties were what we would have imposed ourselves," Friedenthal said.

Former men's soccer coach Aleks Mihailovic and former women's rowing coach Rick Kelliher were placed on a multi-year "show cause" watch, meaning any college that hires them must go before the NCAA.

The infractions committee found that Kelliher falsified records to allow a rower to exceed her five years of eligibility. Mihailovic, who coached at JU from 1996-99, was scrutinized for taking a recruiting trip to Brazil and allowing ineligible players to compete. Also, Mihailovic's wife paid for two prospects' registration fees for an English as a foreign language test. …

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