Lowly Caltech joins mighty USC with NCAA sanctions

Associated Press Modified: July 12, 2012 at 10:31 pm •  Published: July 12, 2012

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Another storied Southern California university has joined the USC Trojans under the hammer of NCAA sanctions.

The UCLA Bruins? Nope. Would you believe the Caltech Beavers?

The California Institute of Technology has been given a reprimand and penalties for fielding players who were academically ineligible, the NCAA announced Thursday, putting a school whose losing streaks can run into the decades in the company of athletic powerhouses like USC and Oklahoma.

Caltech allowed 30 ineligible players in 12 sports, including baseball, basketball, tennis and swimming, to practice or compete over four academic years, the NCAA said.

The problems came from the school's system of "shopping" for courses, where students attend classes for three weeks at the beginning of a term before registration. That meant that under NCAA rules, some athletes were not considered full-time students when they took the field.

The NCAA blamed a lack of oversight and communication between athletic administrators, coaches and the registrar.

Caltech athletic officials discovered and reported the problems themselves.

The school said in a statement that the violations were inadvertent, and promptly disclosed to the NCAA.

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