SAN FRANCISCO -- The NCAA placed the University of San Francisco on probation for two years on Thursday after more than a dozen athletes spent more than $13,000 in scholarship money to improperly buy textbooks.
The school will be on probation until June 2012, but the NCAA decided against a harsher penalty such as a postseason ban.
The NCAA agreed with the school's decision to drop a men's basketball scholarship in 2008-09 and said nearly $28,000 must be donated to charity -- an amount that reflects twice the total of the money spent on the textbooks.
"We are glad this matter has been resolved," athletic director Debra Gore-Mann said in a statement. "We have acted in full cooperation with the NCAA throughout this process, and have worked aggressively to address these issues. We are confident that the policies and procedures we have developed and implemented will prevent further infractions, as we strive to provide the best possible program for our student-athletes."
The school self-reported a number of infractions in the case back in 2006. It said athletes from 12 of the school's 14 teams -- unaware they were violating NCAA rules -- made purchases averaging approximately $135 that included non-required textbooks and school supplies.
The NCAA says 108 student-athletes were involved in the improper purchases. And in 2006-07, six men's basketball players made long-distance calls using a university access code assigned to former head coach Jessie Evans.
Evans took a leave of absence from the school in December 2007 and was fired after the 2007-08 season. Eddie Sutton finished out the 2007-08 season as Dons coach before Rex Walters was hired to take over for the 2008-09 season. Walters has a 23-37 record in two seasons.