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Caltech students and professors respond to NCAA sanctions

Caltech NCAA

Francis Specker/AP

In this Feb. 1, 2006, file photo, California Institute of Technology head basketball coach Roy Dow watches his team play against Occidental College in Pasadena, Calif. The California Institute of Technology has been given a reprimand and penalties for fielding players who were academically ineligible, the NCAA announced on Thursday.

More Bad News

In the world of college sports, there are power-houses like USC and UCLA, and then you have your Bad News Bears-type teams —or, in this case, Bad News Beavers. Turns out that Cal Tech—a school better known for setting losing streak records—has been hit with sanctions by the NCAA.

That’s left students and professors, including chemistry professor Harry Gray, dumbfounded. Upon hearing the news that Cal Tech’s student-athletes had violated the rules for playing while ineligible, Gray had to get to the bottom of it. So he got into his Lexus and drove to the Pasadena campus.
“This isn’t Penn State. This is Caltech,” he said walking hurriedly toward the Athletic Building. “You know our baseball team just lost 400 games in a row. Why should anybody investigate us? We’re actually not winning any games. I think this is some crazy gimmick or something to maybe get attention for us now, to come out at the same time as Penn State.”

Not exactly. Caltech has a unique class enrollment system that allows students to sit-in on classes before officially registering. That means, technically, they’re not full-time students during that period.