The NCAA has fired back at Florida State president T.K. Wetherell, who on Monday complained that the association had broken the terms of a mutually-agreed-upon deal regarding the punishment for FSU's recent academic fraud case. In a message posted on its Web site, NCAA officials took issue with that statement and with Wetherell's assertion that the affected athletes gave up their right to due process when they accepted suspensions and began the reinstatement process.
Here is the NCAA's statement, in its entirety.
Recent media comments attributed to Florida State University President T.K. Wetherell asserting that the university and the NCAA had an agreement regarding school sanctions related to Florida State's academic fraud case are not true. President Wetherell's statements confuse the process for administering institutional penalties with the process for reestablishing student-athlete eligibility. These are two separate processes; there was no so-called "bait and switch" of the two.
Decisions on school sanctions are not made by NCAA staff and are not negotiated. Such decisions are made by the Committee on Infractions, an adjudicating body made up of representatives from member schools as well as independent legal experts. At no time was an agreement on university penalties discussed with the institution in this case or any other case.
The NCAA staff and Florida State did discuss the process necessary for the student-athletes in question to regain their eligibility (student-athlete reinstatement). Based on facts presented, the NCAA and FSU agreed to those student-athletes sitting out 30 percent of the next season's games if they came forward with information on the academic fraud allegations. President Wetherell's assertion that the student-athletes were asked to give up "due process" is also false. In fact, the university was given specific instructions on how to appeal student-athlete reinstatement decisions. Additionally, FSU was repeatedly reminded that the student-athlete reinstatement process was not connected in any way to penalties that may be assessed by the Committee on Infractions to Florida State for the academic fraud which took place at the institution.