The NCAA will announce its decision regarding impermissible benefits violations committed by Wichita State’s baseball team on Thursday.
The NCAA will release the decision at 11 a.m. and discuss the decision on a conference call at noon.
Shocker coach Todd Butler declined comment Wednesday.
WSU endured player suspensions last season, but the NCAA continued to investigate. In November, university president John Bardo, athletic director Eric Sexton and Butler traveled to NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis to state its case to the infractions committee. Former baseball coach Gene Stephenson also attended.
That started another waiting period, one that will apparently end on Thursday. Last year, the NCAA waited until the day of the season opener to hand down suspensions.
In late September, Sexton said WSU had received a notice of allegations from the NCAA, signaling the end of the investigation part of the process. Sexton said the NCAA found that no person associated with WSU intentionally violated NCAA rules and no athletes were aware that their actions violated rules.
The saga began in November 2013, when Butler discovered that his players received discounts, as much as 50 percent, on Under Armour apparel, through an account administered by a former baseball administrative assistant. NCAA rules allow athletes to purchase items related to their sport. Under Armour supplies WSU’s baseball uniforms and other apparel. However, athletes purchased hunting gear and other non-baseball clothing. On Feb. 14, four hours before WSU’s opening game against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, the NCAA suspended eight players from three to nine games. Eight players who purchased less than $100 worth of clothing paid back the money.
The NCAA reduced WSU’s penalty in half because it self-reported the violations, Sexton said in February. The violations occurred from 2011-13.
The hope of the athletic department is that WSU will avoid further penalties, such as scholarship reductions, because it self-reported the violations and imposed a penalty.
“We fully complied with everything we have been asked to comply with,” Sexton said in September. “We identified that mistakes were made. We took action. We held ourselves accountable.”