FSU's Probation Period Now Over

Tuesday marked the beginning of a new chapter for the Florida State community as it officially cleared probation.

After serving four years of an NCAA-mandated probation period, Florida State was officially restored to the full rights and privileges of NCAA membership.

The probation was initially handed down due to an academic cheating scandal that rocked the institution in 2008 and 2009.

Following its investigation, the NCAA found that FSU had violated association rules when academically ineligible athletes were allowed to play in games during the 2006 and 2007 seasons.

The NCAA then acted accordingly handing down sanctions which included forfeited football wins from those years as well as lost scholarships, to go along with the school's own self-imposed sanctions.

In order to stay in compliance during the last four years, FSU has had to send various reports to the NCAA, including one each October, demonstrating that it was trying to meet new academic standards for its athletes.

The Committee on Infractions also forced the school to implement an educational program on the on NCAA rules and monitoring procedures with a focus on academic integrity.

In the last month or so, FSU has sent its final letter affirming that it has met its obligations during probation and that the athletic department policies meet NCAA standards.

The NCAA has since responded to the FSU clearing it from probation. Noledigest was able to attain a copy of the letter and the following is an excerpt.

Dear President Barron:

I am writing you on behalf of the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions to inform you that the committee reviewed and approved the university's final annual compliance report and to confirm in writing that the probationary period the committee imposed on March 6, 2009 expired March 5, 2013. I am pleased to advise you that the university has been restored to the full rights and privileges of NCAA membership as of March 5, 2013. The cooperation of the university in this case is appreciated.

While it is certainly a major step to have cleared through the probationary period without any further problems, despite popular belief it does not mean that FSU is "back to strike one."

That will happen next year when FSU finishes the repeat violator period. The repeat violator period is always five years and is not impacted by the length of probation imposed by the Committee on Infractions.

FSU's athletic director Randy Spetman had this to say regarding the end of probation:

"We are pleased to have this part of the process completed and will continue to work diligently to stay in compliance throughout our program. I commend our compliance staff, coaches, and student-athletes for their dedication to reaching this point."

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