West Virginia goes on probation

West Virginia has agreed to scholarship reductions and two years' probation in the wake of major violations committed under former coaches Rich Rodriguez and Bill Stewart.

The NCAA hit both coaches and the university with failure to monitor charges. West Virginia announced Friday that the NCAA had accepted its self-imposed sanctions. In addition to the probation, through July 7, 2013, West Virginia:

  • Reduced the total number of football scholarships by two for 2010-11 and one for 2011-12.

  • Reduced the amount of hours for football activities by 23 percent.

  • Eliminated two noncoaching graduate assistant positions. Noncoaching graduate assistants are not permitted to attend or observe any coaching or athletically related activities or meetings.

West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck said the following in a statement:

"I am pleased that the Committee accepted the self-imposed penalties the University proposed, without imposing any additional ones. The University has already taken corrective action and put new systems in place to address all the issues raised.

"It is also important to note that probation does not affect our bowl eligibility or ability to compete for conference or national championships. It does, however, require annual reports over a two-year period, which we will complete.

"We have taken this case very seriously from the beginning and, as we've said, will move forward with a complete commitment to compliance in all that we do. We now look forward to an exciting football season and putting this process behind us."

The case is now closed.

West Virginia got the best result it could have hoped for with the acceptance of the self-imposed sanctions. Scholarship reductions always hurt, but they should not have catastrophic consequences. As long as West Virginia stays out of trouble, the Mountaineers should put this whole ugly episode behind them.