The sanctions could have been worse.  A lot worse.

The University of Louisiana got their notice of penalties from the NCAA today and the good news is, they will be eligible for postseason play.

But they didn't get off unscathed.  Not by a long shot.

The NCAA accepted the already self-imposed penalties, including a vacating of all games from the 2011 season along with scholarship reductions and recruiting reductions.

The NCAA added two years' probation, a $5,000 fine and further recruiting restrictions.  The restrictions include a reduction in visits for 2016-17 to 38, and an additional three week ban on all university related recruiting communication in football for 20-16-17. They also ordered vacating of records from 2012-14 for each game the ineligible player(s) participated in.

In addition, former assistant coach David Saunders, who was found to have arranged fraudulent college entrance test scores for five prospects, was given an eight year show-cause penalty by the NCAA, which means if he is hired by an NCAA member school, he and the school must appear before the Committee on Infractions.

In a prepared statement, University President Dr. E. Joseph Savoie, Athletics Director Scott Farmer and Head Football Coach Mark Hudspeth released the following comments.

Savoie:"We are pleased that the Committee on Infractions recognized that the University did not have involvement in or knowledge of Level 1 violations and imposed on us the lowest level of penalties. Further, the Committee recognized our full cooperation and determination to get to the truth surrounding the allegations."

“UL Lafayette will continue to comply with NCAA standards and remains committed to maintaining a comprehensive rules compliance program.”
Farmer:  “We are proud of the Ragin' Cajuns football program, our staff and our student-athletes. Thanks to our fans for their support throughout this process. Our greatest days are still ahead of us. As Ragin' Cajuns, we are strong, we persevere and as our fight song says, we ‘Fight On.’ ”
Hudspeth:  “Even though we do not agree with the full findings, we are thankful that this chapter is behind us and we are ready to move on with building a championship program. We are grateful to all of our fans who have supported our program and we look forward to getting back to work in preparation for the 2016 season.”

The University also released a statement, which, in part, told of a pending lawsuit.

The University filed a lawsuit against ACT, Inc., today seeking damages for failure to detect improper test administration or exam results at one of its Mississippi testing sites, failure to timely investigate the matter, and failure to notify the NCAA or UL Lafayette of exam score improprieties.

In a teleconference, Chief Hearing Officer and Kent State President Emeritus Carol Cartwright praised the University, specifically President Dr. E. Joseph Savoie and Compliance officer Dr. Jessica Clarke Leger for their "exemplary cooperation" and said the cooperation should serve "as a model to other institutions" as to how to cooperate.

More on the story can be found here.

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