UTICA, CT — The Mohawk Valley Community College women's basketball team has seen a startling halt to their season, and it wasn't even with a loss.
On Tuesday, the school announced that the Hawks would not only be suspended for its remaining three games (including Tuesday night's scheduled matchup with Columbia-Greene Community College), but that it would forfeit its entire 2017-18 season.
In a statement from the school from the Observer-Dispatch, "an individual within the Athletic Department" allegedly violated the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Athletic Scholarship and Grants-in-Aid Guidelines for Division III colleges.
According to the school's release, the individual "provided assistance exceeding limits prescribed" by the NJCAA from May to July of 2017. NJCAA bylaws state that "Division III programs may not provide any athletic scholarship/aid of any kind."
The NJCAA handed down the sanctions after the school self-reported the potential violation in January the report said. According to MVCC, they are currently investigating the matter internally, and the individual has been placed on administrative leave.
This season's MVCC team was 20-4 and was ranked no. 4 in the most recent NJCAA Division III polls. In the eight seasons prior, the team ranked in the top 5.
In a statement released by Gary Broadhurst, MVCC's associate dean of Athletics and Physical Education, he acknowledged the seriousness of the matter while also expressing regret for all those affected.
"We recognize the emotional toll and significant impact for all involved,” Broadhurst said. “To lose an entire season like this is certainly difficult. But MVCC is proud of our athletic programs’ tradition of excellence, and, more importantly, its integrity, and as such, we are taking immediate and appropriate action based on the information provided.
“We will continue to hold ourselves to the highest standards of integrity to continue a tradition of excellence for our student-athletes and continue the proud history of Hawk Athletics.”