Missouri State volleyball team hit with NCAA penalties

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri State women’s volleyball program was banned from postseason play for a year and docked scholarships amid a series of penalties handed down Thursday by the NCAA for numerous violations over a three-year period.

The infractions occurred under the watch of longtime coach Melissa Stokes, who resigned in 2019 amid an independent investigation commissioned by the school that discovered many of the violations.

They included more than $16,000 in impermissible recruiting inducements and benefits; the arrangement of free tutors and other academic assistance to meet eligibility requirements; allowing an ineligible prospect to travel and receive expenses as part of a foreign tour; and exceeding the permissible number of coaches by providing free housing to volunteers.

Stokes won more than 500 games over 23 seasons with the Bears, taking them to 10 NCAA Tournaments.

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