Howard University is conducting an internal investigation of possible NCAA rules violations and has temporarily withheld a number of student-athletes from competition as a self-imposed action.
In an e-mail to the AFRO, university spokesperson Kerry-Ann Hamilton said that, despite some reports claiming that Howard’s entire athletics program had been suspended, most teams will continue to compete as scheduled.
“We are working diligently to fully resolve this matter as quickly as possible,” she said. “In order to protect the integrity of this review, we are unable to share additional details at this time.”
According to The Washington Post, an anonymous player from Howard’s softball team claimed the school is investigating how student athletes have used their textbook vouchers. The anonymous player told the Post that some student athletes may have been pocketing the difference between their textbook costs and the allowance the university provides for their books, a major violation of NCAA rules.
“It’s been going on for a long time,” the softball player said, according to the Post. “A good majority of the athletes were taking advantage of this. There were some people who were saving the money. They didn’t spend it. Or some would go buy frivolous things, nothing that relates to school.”
None of the names of the student athletes withheld from competition have been shared with the public. Howard’s football team continued its spring training and practices on April 5, and the softball team is still scheduled to play Coppin State on April 6. Howard’s women tennis team has a competition against Towson on April 7.