Hit with NCAA penalty

Texas A&M University-Commerce was handed down an official penalty by the NCAA Tuesday for unsportsmanlike conduct, which includes suspensions for a student-athlete and an assistant coach.

Texas A&M University-Commerce was handed down an official penalty by the NCAA Tuesday for unsportsmanlike conduct, which includes suspensions for a student-athlete and an assistant coach.

According to an NCAA press release Tuesday, the association’s Division II Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Committee issued a reprimand due to unsportsmanlike conduct toward officials at the 2019 Outdoor National Championships at Kingsville in May.

The release states that the conduct included “making derogatory and threatening remarks toward officials and re-entering the venue after being escorted out and instructed not to return.”

A&M-Commerce appealed the decision to the Division II Championship Committee, which upheld the decision.

The penalty for A&M-Commerce is listed as a suspension from the next two NCAA track and field championships (indoor and outdoor) for one returning student-athlete and the assistant coach involved in the incident to be served during the next NCAA championships in which they would be eligible to participate or coach, reimbursement of per diem and travel costs for two student-athletes and the assistant coach, which comes out as $981.42 per individual and a public reprimand for inappropriate and unsportsmanlike behavior toward officials by the assistant coach and student-athletes.

The A&M-Commerce Athletic Department issued a statement about the penalty Tuesday.

“We make a conscious effort towards providing a Best in Class experience for all associated with Lion Athletics,” the statement said. “Any student-athlete misconduct should always be disciplined appropriately. While we align with the NCAA on this paradigm and certainly agree with a segment of their allegations, we strenuously objected to a portion of the allegations of misconduct and the penalties assigned.”

The statement continued: “Our detailed and meticulous appeal of those discrepancies was unsuccessful, and we consider this matter closed. We will focus our attention on continuing our men’s track and field program’s historic success and look forward to returning numerous student-athletes to the NCAA championships next year.”

The athletic department would not reveal the names of those involved in the incident.

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