UW-Madison athletes, coaches and administrators were banned in July from shopping at The Shoe Box, a shoe store 25 miles northwest of Madison in Black Earth, to prevent any further NCAA violations.
The ban comes after the discovery almost a year ago that athletes were receiving large discounts at the shoe store, which led to the suspension of 31 athletes, mostly on the football and men’s basketball teams.
The decision was made by David McDonald, the special assistant for athletic affairs to Chancellor John Wiley, who announced it to the Athletic Department in a memo July 12. He said the ban was imposed because a risk still existed for NCAA violations to occur.
The original violations were discovered after a July 2000 investigative report by the Wisconsin State Journal. The newspaper found 157 athletes in 14 sports violated NCAA rules. Discounts for the athletes were found to be within 12 and 50 percent, more than what normal students received.
“We well understand the inconvenience and expense that this might cause, but we remind you that the department itself has sustained a large measure of inconvenience and expense from the violations associated with The Shoe Box; that damage will take several years to undo,” McDonald wrote.
The university says the ban is temporary.
The ban also comes as the university’s case is to be heard on Aug. 11 by the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions in Jackson Hole, Wyo.
The NCAA has dropped plans to accuse university officials of failing to control their program, and instead will accuse the university of a much minor charge — failing to control the booster who provided the discounts.
Documents that were released last week show the NCAA and university agree on the facts and nine allegations of rules violations. The hearing will determine if any further punishments are necessary for the violations.
However, the case also includes the case of six unnamed athletes, who have been suspended indefinitely due to housing violations at the Regent Apartments, 1402 Regent St. The university says the players shouldn’t be suspended from games, but repay the amount of housing benefits they received, ranging from $46 to $494, while staying at the Regent as athletes. Apparently the athletes did not do a sufficient amount of work at the dorm to cover the value of the room and board.
Some punishments that could be imposed at the hearing include the stripping of the men’s basketball team of its 1999 Final Four NCAA tournament appearance because some of the athletes who played were not eligible due to violations.
Besides the suspensions of players, the university self-imposed some punishments such as:
– A three year probation in which the university must submit a report each year to the NCAA citing steps taken to prevent violations.
– A fine of $150,000, to be paid to the NCAA.
– A reduction of four scholarships for football, two for the 2001-2002 school year and one each for the 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 school years.
– A reduction of one scholarship for men’s basketball, for the 2002-2003 season.
– A reduction of one off-campus recruiter for one year, which began on July 1.
Eight university officials, including Wiley, will attend the hearing, which will take place behind closed doors. A decision is expected eight weeks later.