GLEN ELLYN – The College of DuPage's athletic teams will not be able to participate in postseason play this year after the National Junior College Athletic Association put the teams on probation following several self-reported violations of NJCAA eligibility rules.
"Several violations of NJCAA eligibility rules – dating back to 2013 – were discovered following a comprehensive internal audit and an ensuing review of its athletic department by an outside law firm," the college said in a statement Aug. 31. "According to the audit findings, although College of DuPage student-athletes met the requirements for entrance into the college, the additional certification required from NJCAA 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."
The violations were self-reported by the college to the NJCAA, according to the statement.
"In addition, the review indicated that no academic fraud was discovered by any member of the Athletic Department, school or staff," the college said in the statement.
The NJCAA has placed COD's athletic department on a one-year probation for the 2018-19 season, which means all teams can continue to play during the regular season but cannot participate in post-season competitions.
“In our renewed commitment to strengthening College of DuPage’s continued efforts toward transparency at all levels of the institution, we took immediate and appropriate action based on the internal draft audit report findings,” COD President Ann Rondeau said in a statement. “I believe it was absolutely critical that we took the necessary steps to ensure the integrity of our athletic program and underscore its solid history during the past several decades.”
Following the audit, the college's Board of Trustees in June hired a new athletic director. In addition, members of the athletic and student records departments completed NJCAA compliance professional development training.
COD's student information system is now used to confirm student-athlete eligibility prior to all NJCAA competition activity, Rondeau said, and the student records office is now responsible for verifying student-athlete grades, credit hours, transcripts and high school graduations. That previously was the responsibility of the athletic department, she said.