MANCHESTER-BY-THE-SEA (CBS) – A young woman from Manchester-by-the-Sea is waging her own battle with the NCAA. Back in October, it stripped dozens of wins and an Atlantic 10 title from the UMass women’s tennis team over what some believe was a very minor violation.
“As I started to read the headlines I realized that my best friend and I were in the middle of this NCAA investigation that we had no idea was going on,” former UMass tennis player Brittany Collens told WBZ-TV.
“They came across this error that they had accidentally paid us a stipend that was only meant for on campus students, and my junior year 2015-2016 we had moved off campus.”
UMass discovered the violation and reported it to the NCAA. That sometimes leads to a lighter punishment. Not this time.
The NCAA wiped out all of the wins for Collens’ three seasons at UMass.
She’s started a petition to restore these records for herself and her former teammates.
There have been plenty of stories of schools paying players, but what Collens received isn’t quite anything like that.
“$252 between two people, myself and my roommate best friend. $126 each,” she said.
Now Collens believes this small incident involving her could have a big impact on rules violations across the country.
“It was supposed to be an incentive to self-report and clearly they didn’t hold up what their agreement was on their end. So I think this does backfire for them and now schools won’t self-report because this was the most minor offense with the harshest penalty dealt,” Collens said.
WBZ-TV reached out to the NCAA to see if it has reviewed the petition and if it plans to review the sanctions. We have not heard back.
The petition has more than 7,300 signatures.