University of Akron football program hit with NCAA sanctions for ‘impermissible benefits’

A former associate director of athletics made cash payments from his personal bank account to nine players, the NCAA says
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Published: Aug. 21, 2021 at 9:16 PM EDT
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AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - On Friday, the NCAA sanctioned the University of Akron’s football team for “impermissible benefits.”

The NCAA found that the university violated its bylaws when a former associate director of athletics provided cash loans to nine football players from his personal bank account over the course of two years, according to the infraction decision posted by the Columbus Dispatch.

The NCAA placed the university on probation for two years and levied a $5,000 fine, according to the infraction decision.

The University of Akron acknowledged “past NCAA compliance problems,” in a phone interview Saturday.

The individual involved in the most recent violation is no longer with the university, he added.

“We’re looking forward to educating coaches and staff... so that we follow the rules,” said Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Charles Guthrie. “It’s a great opportunity for us to ensure compliance.”

To that end, Guthrie said the university has hired Jackie Wallgren, an expert in NCAA compliance, to shepherd the university through a compliance review.

“I’m confident we’re going to be a compliant program and a competitive program going forward,” he said.

Guthrie also released the following statement:

The University of Akron acknowledges that a violation of NCAA rules was committed by a former associate athletics director, who acted without knowledge or approval of the University, and will comply with the terms of the penalties. The University has put policies and protocols in place to ensure compliance moving forward, including hiring a senior-level administrator to directly oversee the compliance office and reinforcing the subject matter of this case in regular compliance education sessions for athletics staff.

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