Student athletes distressed by possible NCAA violations

Last Thursday, President Brock Blomberg notified students and faculty that Ursinus had self-reported potential issues with athletes’ financial aid packages to the NCAA.

     In his email, Blomberg assured students that “the college is taking the matter very seriously and we are fully cooperating with the NCAA.” He told The Grizzly in an email that the college is required to self-report any violations to the NCAA, but declined to say how Ursinus initially found out about possible violations, due to NCAA policies. He also declined to specify the exact nature of the potential violations. 

     While some students started finding out about the situation several weeks ago, the school delayed notifying the student body until all affected athletes and their families were contacted, Blomberg said in the school-wide email. 

     The development has left some athletes feeling unsure of their future at Ursinus. 

     “It definitely scared a lot of people into thinking they’d have to pay a lot more and possibly leave the school because they couldn’t afford it,” an athlete who was affected said. “You kinda feel kinda helpless in the situation. You don’t really know what to do. You can’t really do anything.”

     While the situation with the NCAA is still unfolding, some affected students are beginning to feel better about their standing.

     “We’ve kind of been given notice that everything is gonna be okay,” another athlete said.  

     The students who spoke with The Grizzly were not aware of potential violations with their financial aid packages before being notified by the school. Some of them were contacted by their coaches for individual meetings about the matter, while others were told in a group by coaches and the college’s athletic directors, according to several of the affected student athletes, who asked if they could speak anonymously to protect their privacy. Later, the affected students met with the financial aid office, the student athletes told “The Grizzly.”

     “We were really confused because we didn’t really know what happened. We weren’t informed on what was going on with our financial packages. We didn’t know what was wrong,” an athlete said.

     Though they could not say for sure, athletes who spoke to The Grizzly estimate nearly 40 students, across several class years and from many different teams, were affected, based on their conversations with other affected students. Most of the affected students were first-year students and sophomores, although some transfer students were affected as well, the athletes said. 

      The Grizzly reached out to President Blomberg, the college’s admissions office, the financial aid office, and the NCAA, however, they are unable to provide more details about the number of students affected at this time.

     For now, the affected students are trying not to worry about it. 

     “We’re focusing on our sports and taking it day by day,” one of the athletes said. “They’ll let us know if anything changes, so we just kind of have to have trust in the administration.”

    

     Additional reporting by the Grizzly Staff.