BEREA, Ohio — The 23 varsity athletic teams from Baldwin Wallace will skip postseason play this academic year as it investigates mistakes in awarding financial aid for student-athletes, the school said Tuesday.
The Division III school in suburban Cleveland said it has notified the NCAA that the Yellow Jackets are withdrawing from consideration for any postseason play. University officials said they will investigate mistakes in how NCAA regulations were applied to financial aid decisions for ”a small percentage” of its roughly 500 student-athletes, and take any corrective action if needed.
”Baldwin Wallace University has always stood for the highest standards of integrity,” the school president, Dr. Robert C. Helmer, said in a statement that called the decision ”difficult.”
The ”red flags” that triggered the investigation turned up during a normal institutional review, said George Richard, the director of university relations. He wouldn’t explain the nature of the mistakes or the regulations involved.
Helmer met with coaches and players Tuesday to discuss the situation before the public announcement, and Richard said they had ”the whole spectrum of responses that you would expect.”
”The important thing is that we came across this,” Richard said. ”We are going to take steps to find out what happened and to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
The decision most immediately affects the football, women’s volleyball and men’s and women’s soccer teams.
The football team is 7-1 overall and 6-1 in the Ohio Athletic Conference, tying it with Heidelberg for second place in the conference standings with two conference games left on the schedule.
The women’s soccer team also was doing well this season, with a record of 12-3-4. The team went 6-2-1 in conference play, leaving it in second place as the OAC tournament began this week.