The University of Akron Department of Athletics announced today that junior forwards Nick Harney and Demetrius Treadwell will miss the first three games of the 2012-13 men's basketball season for a violation of NCAA rules due to an institutional clerical compliance error.
"As we expressed in our initial request to the NCAA, it is most unfortunate that these two student-athletes will suffer because of an NCAA requirement that our compliance office failed to verify," Director of Athletics Tom Wistrcill said. "Both Nick and Demetrius have worked extremely hard in the classroom since stepping foot on campus two years ago as non-qualifiers, and are tracking to graduate on time and to earn back their fourth year of eligibility. Due to their immediate certification, we feel absolutely no competitive advantage was gained as a result of them playing last season and it is difficult for us to understand how the NCAA's decision to withhold them from competition is in the best interests of these student-athletes."
"I feel badly for Nick and Demetrius because this oversight happened as a result of no fault of their own," head coach Keith Dambrot said. "They did everything that was asked of them by our Athletics department and coaching staff. We were in constant contact with our compliance department to make sure they fulfilled their obligations. Unfortunately, a clerical error occurred that led to this situation. We will continue to focus on winning these next three games and look forward to getting them back on the court next week."
Neither Harney nor Treadwell received final amateur certification prior to competing during the 2011-12 season. This violation stems from NCAA Bylaw 184.108.40.206.3, which states that "prior to engaging in practice or competition, a student-athlete shall receive a final certification of amateur status based on activities that occur prior to his or her request for final certification or initial full-time enrollment at an NCAA Division I or II institution (whichever occurs earlier)."
The NCAA Student-Athlete Reinstatement Appeals Committee heard Akron's appeal on Thursday and upheld the NCAA staff's decision. Each student-athlete also must sit out 15 practices, which can occur throughout the remainder of their eligibility. The Eligibility Center immediately certified both as amateurs when they completed the process this fall. The Department of Athletics has added further compliance procedures to ensure amateurism certification before any student-athlete engages in competition.
Harney and Treadwell will miss the Zips' games at Coastal Carolina (Nov. 9), against John Carroll (Nov. 12) and the first game of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off against Oklahoma State (Nov. 15).