San Francisco reports itself to NCAA for violations

SAN FRANCISCO -- The University of San Francisco has reported itself to the NCAA regarding infractions by more than a dozen student-athletes for their use of scholarship funds to make purchases at the on-campus bookstore.

The school said Friday that 13 athletes were or will be required to miss games during the 2006-07 athletic season, though spokesman Pete Simon said USF wasn't publicly identifying which athletes will have to sit out.

First-year athletic director Debi Gore-Mann said in a phone interview that men's and women's basketball players are among the 13.

Over a period of five semesters, the school said, athletes from 12 sports teams -- unaware they were violating NCAA rules -- made purchases averaging approximately $135 that included non-required textbooks and school supplies.

"When the university became aware that there might have been a problem, I initiated an internal investigation utilizing the services of the Director of Internal Audit and Tax Compliance," USF vice president for advancement Dave Macmillan said in a statement. "We learned that the computer system that had been set up several years ago was not adequate to block purchases that were not permissible, that student-athletes were not properly educated
about the restrictions and that the responsibility for monitoring these transactions was not clear."

USF said it has upgraded its computer tracking system, revised the distribution method of textbooks, and will do a better job educating its athletes about the process.

Gore-Mann has committed herself to winning without NCAA infractions.

"In order to ensure full compliance with bookstore purchases and all other NCAA rules, the university has hired Bond, Schoeneck and King, a nationally recognized firm that will focus on a thorough, independent assessment of the university's overall compliance program, including rules education, procedures and monitoring," Gore-Mann said.