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NCAA cites UW-RF for athletic violations

RIVER FALLS -- The University of Wisconsin-River Falls football program faces a year of probation after the NCAA found major violations.

The NCAA released a report Wednesday concluding that UW-RF failed to properly educate personnel involved in awarding financial aid about NCAA regulations and allowed a former head football coach to be involved in the arranging of financial aid packages.

The report also included a series of secondary violations concerning the awarding of scholarships to five former student athletes during the 2007-08 through 2011-12 academic years.

Penalties in this case include one year of probation, a review from the NCAA Committee on Financial Aid, and an outside audit of athletic employment and scholarship awarding practices. Penalties do not include a prohibition from postseason competition or a requirement to vacate past victories.

“We self-reported the NCAA violations as soon as we became aware that they had occurred and current university leaders have taken proactive and corrective actions to ensure that the previous errors will not be repeated,” UW-RF Chancellor Dean Van Galen said in a news release.

UW-RF is an NCAA Division III school that competes in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

“Over the past three years we have implemented measures to improve compliance in regards to rules education and monitoring including participation in NCAA financial aid education programs and the establishment of rules education workshops for numerous university departments,” UW-RF athletic director Roger Ternes said in the release. “University leaders have also worked closely with the NCAA, the UW-River Falls Foundation, and our donors to remove all language associated with athletics leadership, participation, and performance from scholarship criterion.”