The National Collegiate Athletic Association Infractions Committee has charged Howard University with approximately 30 violations of NCAA rules in football, basketball, soccer and wrestling, The Washington Post learned yesterday.
The charges center around recruiting and athletes' eligibility, according to Carl Anderson, Howard's vice president for student affairs. His office oversees intercollegiate athletics.
Anderson, athletic director Leo Miles and members of the school's coaching staff will meet with the Infractions Committee Friday in Boston, Anderson said yesterday.
Howard's problems were brought to light after allegations were made by John Organ, former Howard wrestling coach who is currently football coach and athletic director at Bowie State College.
Howard's soccer team, a national power, recently was banned from NCAA postseason competition for two years for using a player last season who was ineligible for NCAA tournament play because he was a transfer student and had not sat out the required one year after transfering. The charges to which Howard will respond Friday are not related to that incident.
Howard was put on a year's probation in 1973 and had its 1971 NCAA soccer championship stripped when the association ruled Howard had used ineligible players on that team.
Sources said the current charges culminate a two-year investigation of Howard athletics by the NCAA.
David Berst, NCAA director of enforcement, said yesterday that, under NCAA policy, he could neither confirm nor deny that Howard has been under investigation or charged with violations.
However, speaking in general terms, he said:
"It's still not absolute that schools that get this far will wind up with some kind of public penalty. If you reach this stage, the allegations investigated are at least reasonably substantial to warrant further inquiries. It's a trial, so to speak, but not the end of our procedures by any means."
After Howard presents its side to the infractions committee, the committee "makes findings of facts and proposes a penalty," Berst said.
Then the NCAA submits a confidential report to the school, which has 15 days to appeal the committee's decision to the NCAA Council.
Asked whether the NCAA allegations had foundation, Anderson replied:
"As far as I'm concerned, they don't. But you and I both know the NCAA makes its own determination . . . It comes down to a question of interpretation. The allegations can be made by anyone. I don't know who made them."
Organ said yesterday he made accusations against the school at which he coached and taught for eight years.
Organ said he originally made his allegations to Howard's athletic committee in February 1976, the year after he resigned, because, he said, "These infractions . . . became so annoying to me . . . I felt I could no longer function in a program that placed winning above education and the building of character.
'I am bitter because of the way they treated me (concerning salary, promotions and summer teaching opportunities). But I am even more bitter because of the way they treated the athletes."
The following is a list of some of the allegations made by Organ against howard.
That Miles arbitrarily took away or reduced scholarships without due process as required by the NCAA. Anderson confirmed that the NCCA has charged Howard with such an offense.
That Howard hired student-athletes to teach physical education or coach at the school, a practice forbidden by the NCAA. Anderson denied such a practice at Howard and said it was not cited for such an infraction by the NCAA.
That Howard publicized or arranged publicity concerning the visit of a prospective student-athlete to its campus, which is against NCAA rules. Anderson confirmed that a basketball prospect had been introduced at a home basketball game.
That the school paid the preenrollment application fee of prospective student-athletes. Organ provided Howard University requisitions of such an occurrence for at least 25 athletes in 1974. Anderson confirmed this is one of the charges against Howard.
The Howard paid costs incurred by an athletic talent scout or a representative of its athletic interests in studying or recruiting prospective student-athletes. Anderson confirmed that Howard is charged with this alleged violation.
The Howard illegally reimbursed a high school coach for transporting prospective student-athletes to the campus. Anderson confirmed that Howard is charged with such a violation.
That Howard constantly had athletes' grades changed. Anderson denies this allegation and says the NCAA did not make such a charge.
That Howard gave athletes credits for courses they had not taken. "We would not do that," Anderson said. He said Howard was not charged with such an offense.
That Howard allowed athletes to perform without officially being accepted by the university. Anderson said Howard had been charged with such an offense and that it stemmed from a player who appeared in a group soccer picture but did not participate in an actual game.
That Howard allowed athletes to participate after expiration of their four years of eligibility. "If we knew that (was the case), we wouldn't do that," Anderson said.
That Howard accepted at least one basketball player without an official high school transcript. Anderson denied the charged and said the NCAA had not cited Howard for such a violation.