University Mary Hardin-Baylor forced to vacate 2016 title

Joe Schulz, Managing Editor

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In 2016, the UW Oshkosh football team concluded its season with a 10-7 loss in the NCAA Division III Championship game to University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.

That championship win for UMHB is being vacated by the NCAA because UMHB head coach Pete Fredenburg let a player use his car for more than 18 months, according to the Associated Press.

Despite the NCAA stripping UMHB of their national championship title, UWO will not be claiming the trophy. There will be an asterisk next to UMHB’s name in the NCAA record book for 2016.

The NCAA determined the student’s usage of Fredenburg’s 2006 Subaru an improper benefit for a student-athlete.

NCAA will vacate victories the athlete played in, including 29 wins over the 2016 and 2017 seasons and their 2016 championship win over UWO.

UMHB self-reported the violation to the NCAA after learning of a potential rules violation in 2018, according to a press release.

The school launched an in-depth investigation and submitted a report to the NCAA’s enforcement office in April 2018.

“I’ve spent my entire career as a football coach investing in kids. In this instance, I unintentionally broke NCAA rules. I regret this, and I accept responsibility,” Fredenburg said in the press release.

After UMHB’s investigation, Fredenburg was suspended for three months without pay and sat out the first three games of the 2018 season.

UMHB President Randy O’Rear said in a press release that the university took the investigation seriously and fully cooperated with the NCAA.

“Mary Hardin-Baylor is committed to a culture of compliance, and the actions we took reflect that commitment,” O’Rear said. “The record shows we responded quickly, investigated vigorously, immediately self-reported the violations, and independently took decisive ,corrective steps.”

UMHB will appeal its vacations of its victories to the NCAA’s Infractions Appeal Committee.
“In light of all the circumstances surrounding this case and as a matter of principle for all the student-athletes who had no part in the infractions, we requested an expedited hearing on that one issue of disagreement,” O’Rear said.

UMHB’s football program will undergo a two-year probation period, during which UMHB will notify all football prospects that the school is on probation.

UMHB will also file a letter from the president at the end of the probation period affirming that its policies and procedures meet NCAA rules.

The terms of probation do not prohibit post-season play or impose any recruiting bans on UMHB.