November 19, 2014

The NCAA has imposed sanctions on Weber State after it found that a math instructor had improperly helped Wildcats football players with their course work, quizzes and tests.

The NCAA put Weber State on probation for three years, reduced scholarships for the football program and imposed at least $5,000 in fines for violating ethical conduct rules. The penalties do not include a postseason ban.

The NCAA says the math instructor completed quizzes and tests for five players, and gave others hints about formulas and help with quiz and test answers.

Weber State and its athletic department became aware of the situation early last year. After an initial investigation, the Wildcats self-reported the issue to the NCAA last fall.

''We take full responsibility for the incident,'' Weber State President Charles A. Wight said in a statement. ''While we regret that it occurred, it is reassuring to know the systems we have in place quickly detected these unethical activities. We must remain vigilant going forward.''

Under first-year coach Jay Hill, Weber State is currently 2-9 overall and 2-5 in the Big Sky Conference. The team wraps up the season against Idaho State in Pocatello on Saturday.

The sanctions include probation through Nov. 18, 2017, a reduction of nine scholarships and a fine of $5,000 plus 2 percent of the football program operating budget. If the math instructor works for an NCAA-member school and has duties in the athletic department, the school must appear before an NCAA committee panel.

The teacher, who was not named, admitted that in spring 2013 five athletes gave her online access to their school accounts. Later, an adjunct professor noticed that one of the students had completed six quizzes and a final exam in less than an hour, which was unusual.

The students subsequently failed the class. The math instructor is no longer at Weber State.

''The school was credited with promptly detecting and coming forward with the information as required by the membership,'' said Rodney Uphoff, Committee on Infractions hearing officer and University of Missouri law professor. ''So yes, that is a factor that worked in Weber State's favor.''

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