Cal Poly has filed an appeal with the NCAA seeking relief from two years of probation the body placed on the school after it self-reported violations stemming from a book stipend program.

The NCAA handed down sanctions in April, after it was revealed that the university provided 265 student-athletes across 18 programs book stipends that did not match the actual costs of the books. That led to a situation where 72 student-athletes received a stipend exceeding the cost of the books, causing 30 of them to exceed their financial aid limits.

KEYT reports that the school paid out an additional $16,000 to the 72 student-athletes — an average of about $225 per affected student-athlete.

In addition to the probationary period, the NCAA sanctions include vacating records for contests in which an affected student-athlete participated and a school-suggested fine of $5,000.

The NCAA’s Committee on Infractions said that the school failed to monitor its stipend program, and while it believed the school didn’t break any rules on purpose, “There is no ambiguity in the wording of the legislation and thus no room for misinterpretation. Cal Poly simply failed to abide by this rule.”

With the appeal process underway, the facts of the case are reconsidered by the NCAA Infractions Appeal Committee, according to Mustang News. In order for the sanctions to be overturned, the appeal committee must find either:

  • Contrary information to the original investigation or that Cal Poly did not violate NCAA rules.
  • A procedural error in the original investigation.
  • An abuse of discretion by the Committee on Infractions when the penalties were handed down.

Jason Scott is Online Managing Editor of Athletic Business.