Conversation with Brittany Collens on NCAA violations

Collens advocating for women’s tennis team

By Joey Aliberti, Assistant Sports Editor

If you haven’t already heard, the Massachusetts women’s tennis team has been punished by the NCAA for $504 worth of on-campus telephone payments.

These telephones did not even exist.

Now the Minutewomen are being fined $5,000 and all wins from their 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons are vacated, which includes a 2017 Atlantic 10 Championship title.

Former women’s tennis player Brittany Collens was one of two girls to live off campus and get reimbursed with a payment of $252 for a telephone that they would have allegedly had if they were on campus, even though no dorms had those telephones.

UMass self-reported the incident to the NCAA yet was still given the largest penalty possible for the misdoing.

“We do not believe that the penalties imposed by the NCAA are appropriate, nor proportional to the violations that occurred,” Athletic Director Ryan Bamford said in an official statement released in October. “Our administrative and coaching staffs and student-athletes were completely unaware of the mistakes until we audited our records as part of an NCAA review.”

Collens has started a petition to appeal the NCAA’s ruling on vacating its wins from those past two seasons, which has caught the eyes of high-end news networks such as ESPN, The Boston Globe, Sports Illustrated, CBS Sports and many more, as all are attempting to raise awareness for violations they feel are unjust.

The appeal for this ruling will occur within the next few months, where Collens hopes to bring her petition to the NCAA, with a goal set for 7,500 virtual signatures.

“The NCAA faces no one, they don’t have to face anyone,” Collens said. “They don’t have to follow their rules.”

Joey Aliberti can be reached via email at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @JosephAliberti1