Provost committee reports secondaryviolations in Marrow eligibility

The University, on Jan 2, self-reported violations of the NCAA Bylaws to the Ivy League, the result of a student-athlete practicing and playing in Penn football games this fall while not enrolled full-time.

"A cardinal principle of [our] athletic programs is that participation in sports and games be strictly, in all respects, by the rules," said Provost Stanley Chodorow in his report to the Ivy League. "Penn strives to teach its athletes, from their first day on campus, that playing fairly is as important as playing well.

"And," he said, "Penn has maintained an unblemished record of managing its athletic programs by the book. The incident detailed in this report is an unfortunate exception to that record, an exception the University is committed to ensuring is never repeated." The complete text of the report was published in Almanac Jan. 13. Penn will forfeit all games that it won in which Marrow competed, while ineligible, including wins against Columbia, Brown, Yale, Princeton and Cornell. Its decision to do so has the support of the Ivy League, but must be ratified by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Penn also recommended that the Ivy League vacate any Ivy League honors Marrow received for the 1997 season.

The self-report is based on the findings of a special committee of faculty and administrators appointed by the Provost in early December 1997. The committee found that the DRIA and Marrow share responsibility for his ineligibility.

The report said that proper systems for monitoring eligibility were in place and human error was at fault, although there was no unethical conduct or malicious intent.

While the report indicated the DRIA's actions "constituted serious errors of judgment," the University's actions in this case did not constitute a lack of institutional control, as defined by the NCAA Bylaws.

The report also said that there was no violation of the NCAA "extra benefits" legislation, as defined by the NCAA Bylaws.

Future actions recommended by the committee include "scrupulously" monitored reviews by the DRIA of students' full-time eligibility status and other checks and balances in reporting practices.

Originally published on January 14, 1998