Former Kentucky State president forced team to play ineligible player

Earlier this week, the NCAA announced it’s reached a negotiated resolution with Kentucky State University, an NCAA Division II program, in regards to forcing a football team to play an ineligible player.

During the spring and summer of 2019, an unnamed student-athlete was found to have exhausted all of his collegiate eligibility after being enrolled for eight semesters at KSU and two apiece at two other previous schools.

kentucky stateA recent story from detailed how the former Kentucky State University president forced the football program to play an ineligible player.

Below is an excerpt from the story.

As the documents detail, in the spring and summer of 2019, athletics department staff determined the unnamed student-athlete had completed his eligibility after being enrolled for eight semesters at KSU and two apiece at two other institutions. After being informed of this, the unnamed student-athlete became upset and punched a wall.

The following day, the former president emailed athletics staff to inform them of his displeasure at the situation. Eventually, Kentucky State filed a waiver. After an August meeting, the department withdrew the waiver, believing the president was taking responsibility for certifying the player himself. The former student-athlete played in eight games that season.

From the NCAA:

On August 26, the then-president conducted a meeting with the then-director of athletics, then compliance officer, then executive vice president/CFO and the president’s chief of staff related to the then student-athlete’s eligibility. Three of the meeting participants reported that the then-president pressured the athletics staff members in the meeting to certify the then-student-athlete’s eligibility and stated that they did not want to ruin their careers over the then-student-athlete. Additionally, the then-president indicated that ultimate authority for eligibility rested with himself. After the meeting, the then director of athletics withdrew the waiver request, as she believed that the then president assumed responsibility for the then student-athlete’s eligibility certification. 

On September 4, 2019, the then-head football coach inquired whether the then-student-athlete was eligible to participate in the team’s first contest. Based on the direction received from the then president during the August 26 meeting, the then director of athletics informed the then head football coach that the then student-athlete was included on the certified roster for the team. The certified roster indicated that the then student-athlete was eligible to compete. Additionally, the then compliance officer submitted a copy of the certified roster to the conference office. The then student-athlete continued to compete throughout the remaining contests during the 2019 season.

Though the former president was not named, M. Christopher Brown resigned from Kentucky State in July 2021. Concerns over the university’s finances pushed Brown out of the position he’d held since 2017 — the phrase “governor signs executive order to review university’s financial status” is as red as red flags get in that world — but KSU athletics department staff used the opportunity to turn itself in over the 2019 affair.

From the NCAA:

This case originated in August 2021, when a former institutional staff member reported multiple potential violations to the institution and enforcement staff. One of the allegations was that the institution allowed a student-athlete to compete during the 2019 season, despite the then student-athlete having exhausted his eligibility. On August 24, 2021, the enforcement staff issued a notice of inquiry to the institution and commenced a collaborative investigation. 

To read the full story from, click here.