posted April 2, 2002

Hope Forfeits MIAA Women's Swimming Championship

Source: Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association, April 1, 2002

The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) was recently notified by Hope College of the use of an ineligible athlete in its swimming program during the past season.

Hope College, in a self-report to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the MIAA, reported that an error occurred in interpreting the academic record of a transfer student and her subsequent eligibility to compete. Hope College officials said the error was discovered after the season concluded.

Based on information provided to the MIAA, the results of the 2002 MIAA women's swimming championships are being changed to remove the ineligible swimmer from the events in which she competed and then moving other competitors up in the standings of those events, according to Commissioner Sheila Wallace Kovalchik.

As a result, Calvin College is declared the 2002 MIAA women's swimming champion. Hope College will finish in second place based on the new championship meet point totals (Calvin 520, Hope 444). While the point totals of other teams have changed, the order of finish has not with Kalamazoo 3rd (282 points), Albion 4th (265), Saint Mary's 5th 225, Alma 6th (202) and Olivet 7th (73).

The order of standings for the MIAA Commissioner's Cup and MIAA Women's All-Sports Award through the winter season have also been recalculated. The revised standings for the Commissioner's Cup are: 1. Hope 115, 2. Calvin 105, 3. Kalamazoo 95, 4. Albion 81, 5. Alma 66, 6. Adrian 42, 7. Olivet 29. The new standings for the MIAA Women's All-Sports Award are: 1. Hope 63, 2. Calvin 57, 3. Kalamazoo 52, 4. Albion 45, 5. Alma 38, 6. Adrian 26, 7. Saint Mary's 24, 8. Olivet. 11.

Statement by Hope College President James E. Bultman

We deeply regret that an unintentional error by college personnel in the interpretation of a transfer student's academic record resulted in the participation of an ineligible swimmer.

We apologize to our fellow MIAA member colleges for creating this situation.

On behalf of the Hope College administration, we also apologize to coach John Patnott, the ineligible swimmer and the members of the team who worked so diligently to win a championship that now must be forfeited.

We have instituted additional steps in our process for reviewing transcripts that should prevent this from happening in the future.