In regard to a violation of the Cumberland Baseball program received from the NAIA, Cumberland University wants to ensure that the integrity of the Cumberland Baseball program should not be damaged through this inadvertent violation.
A statement issued by Cumberland University President Dr. Paul Stumb:
Last week, our athletic department was notified that a player on our baseball team was deemed potentially ineligible by the NAIA. We immediately investigated this situation and discovered that although the player had been deemed eligible to compete by both his previous institution and the NAIA, we failed to comply with an obscure NAIA policy. The policy states that the player must sit out for two semesters, and he only sat out for one semester. As soon as we realized we were in violation, we self-reported the issue to the NAIA and forfeited every game in which the player competed.
Although inadvertent, we accept full responsibility for this error, and I remain very proud of our Athletic Director Ron Pavan, and the coaching staff as they have continued to demonstrate integrity in bringing this mistake to light and taking necessary corrective action. Lastly, I want you to know that this was an isolated incident and that we have already taken action to ensure that similar violations are not repeated.President Paul C. Stumb
The baseball team received a transfer student in January, and it was our understanding that the student-athlete was coming into Cumberland University in good standing.
The student-athlete had received a two-semester suspension from the NCAA. When he transferred to Cumberland, it was our understanding that the student-athlete, barring any issues from the NAIA, would be cleared to compete.
The tracer sent from his previous institution stated that he was in good academic standing, had no previous disciplinary issues, and was eligible to compete at Cumberland University.
Cumberland did their due diligence, and the NAIA cleared the student-athlete for competition, so the individual competed throughout the 2022 season.
On April 14, Cumberland University was notified of a potentially ineligible player and immediately pulled the student-athlete from competition. Upon investigation, the University self-reported the potential violation. The ruling from the NAIA came back that the student-athlete was not eligible to compete due to the two-semester suspension and have vacated 22 wins.
The obscure rule from the NAIA is that student-athlete must sit out for two semesters for any disciplinary issue, he played a semester too early only sitting in one semester. Therefore, the Cumberland Baseball program has vacated 22 wins.
The team is still eligible to compete in postseason play, but the road is just more difficult now. The Phoenix will have to make a run and win the Mid-South Conference Tournament Championship to receive an automatic bid to the National Tournament.
For more information, please contact Sports Information Director Kyle Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org.