The University of Alaska – Fairbanks has 5 women qualified for the 2015 NCAA Division II Championships, despite being put on probation earlier this season – a probation that included a post-season ban for the women’s swimming program, among others.
The Nanooks, who placed 14th at last year’s NCAA Championship meet, were cited by the NCAA for having ineligible student-atheltes compete between 2007-2012 in several sports.
In early December, Alaska-Fairbanks appealed the post-season bans of their women’s swimming and basketball teams, which meant that until their appeals were heard by the NCAA, they were granted a “stay” in those post-season bans, allowing them to compete.
According to Alaska-Fairbanks’ Director of Athletics Gary Gray, the appeal is still in the “stay” stage, and still being processed by the NCAA, meaning that at this time, the athletes are still eligible for post-season competition. If the NCAA were to rule against the school after the upcoming championship meet, the ban would likely then roll into next season.
The university argued that the punishments were too severe for those programs, given that the violations for those specific programs were primarily “paper” or “technical” violations.
When the punishment was originally released, the NCAA rejected that arugment, saying that three of the five swimmers found to be ineligible for “a failure to meet progress-toward-degree requirements,” which they did not view as a paperwork error.