Nebraska acknowledged Tuesday that it distributed nearly $28,000 in textbooks and other school supplies to athletes from 2007-10, material that wasn't required and amounts to what the school says are three violations of NCAA rules.
The school said it outlined the violations in a report to the NCAA, pertaining to book scholarships, extra benefits and a failure to monitor. It self-imposed a two-year probationary period as well as a fine of $28,000 payable to charity.
The school said the athletes involved have already paid the amount of their individual extra benefits to charities. It said it has processed 57 such repayments that were valued at more than $100 and another 181 that were less than $100.
The NCAA allows schools to cover the cost of required course textbooks in athletic scholarships but not extra, professor-recommended books. Nebraska said it uncovered the violation on its own last fall and determined that athletes in 19 sports received books and supplies that were not required.
It said the total value of the books and supplies was $27,869.47.
Nebraska athletic department spokesman Keith Mann declined additional comment Tuesday.
In the report to the NCAA, the school said it regretted the mistakes and has implemented a new process for giving athletes their scholarship books. It said there was no intentional wrongdoing, monetary reward or competitive advantage gained by the athletes involved.
Nebraska said in all cases, bookstore employees and athletes believed the recommended books were included in scholarships.
An internal investigation into the matter began in November of 2010, with Nebraska officials identifying the athletes who received extra books from the spring of 2007 through fall 2010. The school said the average extra benefit was less than $60 per athlete. The total value was calculated by taking the cost of the book when purchased, minus the amount refunded to athletics when the books were returned.
The Nebraska compliance staff began processing repayments from athletes in February and finished in April. The school said its Student-Athlete Advisory Committee would determine which charity will receive its $28,000 fine.