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Washington baseball team put on NCAA probation, ordered to vacate wins from 2018 College World Series season

UPDATED: Fri., Oct. 9, 2020

Washington coach Lindsay Meggs talks to his players in the fourth inning of an NCAA College World Series baseball elimination game against Oregon State in Omaha, Neb., Monday, June 18, 2018.  (Associated Press)
Washington coach Lindsay Meggs talks to his players in the fourth inning of an NCAA College World Series baseball elimination game against Oregon State in Omaha, Neb., Monday, June 18, 2018. (Associated Press)
By Adam Jude Seattle Times

SEATTLE – The University of Washington baseball program must vacate all wins from its 2018 College World Series season after the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions ruled that UW provided impermissible recruiting benefits to players’ parents.

The NCAA also announced Friday it has placed the program on a one-year probation and issued a $5,000 fine.

UW athletics said in a news release that it “strongly disagrees” with the NCAA’s ruling and will appeal the decision to vacate wins.

UW said baseball coach Lindsay Meggs self-reported the violations in October 2018. After an investigation, NCAA found that UW paid a total of $7,795 to cover travel costs for the parents of three baseball recruits.

As a result, the NCAA ruled that those three players were ineligible to play for the Huskies in 2018.

Under Meggs, the Huskies advanced to the College World Series for the first – and only – time in program history in 2018, when they finished with a 35-26 overall record.

NCAA rules allow only football and basketball programs to cover travel costs for parents of recruits making an official visit to campus.

“The violations occurred due to a good-faith misunderstanding between former members of the baseball coaching staff and former members of the compliance staff,” the UW release stated. “The former baseball staff members inaccurately thought that the NCAA rule allowing for institutions to pay for parents’ travel in the sports of football and basketball applied to other sports as well, including baseball.”

In addition to the NCAA’s penalties, UW said it has adopted new “corrective actions to strengthen overall compliance measures specific to monitoring travel” and will reduce baseball recruits’ official visits to campus for two years.

“I’m disappointed for our baseball program and for every Husky player past and present who is dealing with today’s news,” Meggs said in a statement. “Since taking over this program, my coaches and I have made it a priority to build and foster a culture of integrity and compliance, and today’s news will not change that.”

According to the NCAA, this is the first “Level I, Level II or major” violation for the UW baseball program – and the first for any UW program since the football team’s 2003-04 saga surrounding then-coach Rick Neuheisel.

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