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The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has dropped the hammer on Stephen F. Austin University (SFA), classifying their misdeeds over the last 6 years as a "Level I violation," that will cost the institution tens of thousands of dollars, the ability to compete in various sports, and tons of athletic scholarships.

When the 2016, the SFA Lumberjacks defeated West Virginia in the NCAA College Basketball - every student, alumni member, and fan of the well-known and respected Nacogdoches college celebrated along with them.  Getting to the tournament was a shocker to begin with, this smaller school was mixing it up with the big boys who were well-heeled in the ways of March Madness.

Not only that, they upset the #3 team in the entire tournament in the very first game first game - beating the West Virginia Mountaineers by 14 points (final score WV 56 - SFA 70)!  To further prove that this Lumberjack team was for real - they fell to Notre Dame in the next round after losing by one point, narrowly missing the Sweet 16.

Unfortunately, SFA now has to vacate 289 wins and conference championships due to inaccurately certifying players’ eligibility from 2013-2019.  According to East Texas Matters, the count looks like this:

  • 117 men’s basketball wins (including their 2016 NCAA tournament victory)
  • 112 baseball wins
  • 31 softball wins
  • 29 football wins
  • 3 men’s basketball conference championships

In total, 82 student athletes were incorrectly certified as "eligible" over the period in question.  The penalty for this transgression is steep.  SFA is banned from football, baseball, and basketball for 1 year, and will serve 3 years of probation after that.

The university will also have to fork over a fine of $5,000 - and they have to forfeit one-half of one percent of the total budgets for both football and men’s basketball.  The Lumberjacks will also be forced to return half of the financial share earned from participation in the 2016 NCAA Tournament  - plus, lose 2.5% of the scholarships in football, 5% of the scholarships in in baseball, and 1 basketball scholarship for the next 2 years.