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FIU hit with 4 years probation for variety of infractions

MIAMI -- Florida International was placed on four years
probation by the NCAA on Wednesday and will lose scholarships for a
variety of infractions.

More than 40 athletes who competed for the school from the
2002-03 through the 2006-07 academic years violated rules, said
Josephine Potuto, chairwoman of the NCAA committee on infractions.

The school, which jumped from NCAA Division I-AA to Division
I-A, misapplied enrollment and financial aid rules, transfer
requirements and eligibility rules, the NCAA found.

"The institution acknowledges that it was not ready for the
move, at least from a compliance standpoint," Potuto said.

The men's basketball program lost one scholarship and its
baseball program lost 1.5. The football program was stripped of
three scholarships. In all, 11 sports lost scholarships.

The violations were self-reported. Records set during the years
of the infractions were erased, and the probationary period is to
end May 19, 2012, because the sanctions were added on top of other
penalties.

The school said the violations were not intentional.

"Upon discovering these violations, we put in place new
compliance procedures that are much more suited to the university
FIU has become in the last 10 years," university president Modesto
Maidique said. "We now have the level of staffing and the
redundancies that will prevent these types of infractions from
occurring again in the future."

Rick Mello, the school's former athletic director who became an
associate commissioner with the Sun Belt Conference in 2006,
declined comment through a Sun Belt spokesman.