The NCAA Committee on Infractions announced today that Ball State has been placed on two years probation and will lose three football scholarships based upon findings related to the school's textbook loan program.
The probation will run through October 15, 2009. The loss of the football scholarships can be applied in a single year or divided over the next two years.
The school's softball and men's tennis programs were also penalized.
The NCAA Committee on Infractions indicated that a total of 89 athletes in ten sports were involved in the violations which occurred from the spring semester of 2003 through the 2005 school year and involved nearly $27,000 in books that were obtained by athletes for courses in which they were not enrolled.
The Committee indicated that the "extra benefit" exceeded limitations on financial aid available to football for 2004-2005.
An automated system in use at the time at Ball State automatically placed $1,000 in each student-athlete's account per semester but no checks and balances were in place to ensure that the books were actually required for classes for which the student-athletes were enrolled.
Student-athletes who did not use the entire $1,000 per semester balance were then able to use the available funds to obtain books for other students who were not on scholarship according to the NCAA report.
In it's report the NCAA indicated that the Committee on Infractions "believed that the scope of the violations demonstrated a failure to exercise institutional control in the conduct and administration of the book-loan program" by Ball State University.
"While it is always difficult when penalties are involved, we accept them as appropriate and a valuable lesson," Ball State athletic director Tom Collins told the Associated Press. "I've already spoken with the coaches. The loss of scholarships and practice time will be a challenge, but I have great confidence in our coaches' abilities to work through those challenges."
Read the entire NCAA Report Here.