Blog Entry

Stiff NCAA penalties on the way with new model

Posted on: January 17, 2012 3:56 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 3:59 pm

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Scandals, scholarships and rules changes were among the topics of frequent conversation at last week's NCAA Convention and while not everything president Mark Emmert wanted - the $2,000 cost of attendance stipend for example - was passed by the Legislative Council and Board of Directors, it's safe to say what happened in Indianapolis laid the ground work for significant changes that will impact schools for decades to come.

While details on most proposals from Presidential Working Groups finally emerged in some areas, the one place where there was plenty of talk but little substance was the new enforcement model that some in the organization have been tasked with reforming. After a year that included news about major infractions at Tennessee, Miami, Ohio State, North Carolina and others, it's no surprise that this would be one area of emphasis.

"We were damn mad and not going to take it anymore," Ed Ray, Oregon State president and chair of the Enforcement Working Group, said.

The Enforcement Working Group that came out of August's presidential retreat was tasked with creating a tiered violation structure, new penalty procedures, a reformed process for adjudication and a reformed process that is fair while supporting the collegiate model the organization is looking to uphold.

"In terms of what is our charge, we heard President Emmert talk about this risk-reward analysis and the fact that there seems to be a general loss of integrity and upholding the rules," Vice President for Enforcement Julie Roe Lach said. "This isn't purely a reactive move, we're not just doing this because of the scandals or if there is a crisis. We're doing this because it's the right thing to do. This is a time to redefine what are our principles and what do we stand for."

In addition to following the principles of fairness, accountability and process integrity, flexibility is one of the key things the new model is designed to address as there are currently only two categories of violations: major and secondary. The new model would have four levels (most egregious, serious, secondary, minor) with the Committee on Infractions taking into account various mitigating or aggravating factors that would then help determine penalties. While many believe the enforcement side just makes it up as they go along (and they can because they don't follow past precedent), the model should help move cases along in the system quicker and result in more consistency among penalties given out to schools.

"The working group recognizes the wide-spread perception that the current penalty model leads to inconsistent and insufficient penalties and does not adequately deter other institutions and individuals from engaging in conduct contrary to the rules," the working group's report stated. "The working group believes that the severity of the penalty imposed must correspond with the significance of the rule violation(s)."

If it all seems a bit dense and hard to understand, it is. That's why the NCAA created this proposed penalty matrix that gives you a better visual idea of what future programs will have to get used to if they break rules. For example, if you commit a serious Level I offense and there were no mitigating factors, you can expect a 2-3 year postseason ban.

"We haven't had a lot of pushback on this," Roe Lach said of the new multi-level structure. "If there's anything in the package that is a no-brainer, it seems like this may be it.

"An issue we've heard is we need to be more consistent and allow for more predictability. I think if we are more consistent, it would afford more predictability. The idea is to move toward a penalty guidelines model."

So how does it really work? Well, take the infamous USC case involving Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo among others: violations of NCAA bylaws governing amateurism; failure to report knowledge of violations; unethical conduct; violations of coaching staff limitations; impermissible recruiting contacts by a representative of the institution's athletics interests; impermissible inducements and extra benefits; and lack of institutional control.  

According to the new model, this would be classified as multiple Level I violations with four significant aggravating factors. Here's a comparison of penalties with what the Trojans got and what they would have received under the new model:

So yes, USC would have been punished even worse under the new proposed enforcement model coming from the NCAA. That's interesting because athletic director Pat Haden is on the enforcement working group and has made it a point to say that the Trojans were unfairly punished. In other examples provided by the NCAA, Baylor's basketball program would have seen the number of scholarships available slashed in half following the school's 2005 infractions case. Instead of fewer practice hours for Rich Rodriguez and Michigan in their case, the Wolverines could have lost up to four scholarships per year. Florida State's 2009 case could have seen football scholarship losses of 10-21 per year for three years instead of the six they received.

Given the new model, expect the hammer from Indianapolis to come down harder on cheaters in the future.


Since: Mar 7, 2009
Posted on: January 20, 2012 1:17 am

Stiff NCAA penalties on the way with new model

Trojan fan still trying to say......"we didn't do anything wrong" It was the Bush family! So delusional you are. It's funny because everyone around town knew about Bush, Winston Justice, Booty, McKnight, Jarrett were all getting extra benefits. How about all the ecstasy drug issues within the team that resulted in sexual crimes? Grade issues? Limo rides for Brian price on his recruitment? I could go on and on.....the program was out of control, so Toejam deal with it

Since: Dec 2, 2007
Posted on: January 19, 2012 8:24 am

Stiff NCAA penalties on the way with new model

   Few guys get the same treatment.  Except the close friends, and people that make them cooler than they are.  Such as?... celebrities and athletes.
Wow.....that's nice but none of that even comes close to proving that Miami won't get a severe penalty.....and likely far worse than USC.  USC didn't know anything either, so ignorance means nothing.  They didn't self-report.  It came out in the case against that Ponzi guy and then Miami reported it, but it was already known by then.  We'll see how it for hot women in Miami, so what I used to live in Florida--lived in Tampa, been to Daytona, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami and none of them were hotter than my ex-wife.  I had NFL players trying to hit on her because she was that hot--she's 41 now, and still looking pretty good, but my younger model is only 32 and even hotter.  I live in Thailand and have spent the last 10 years or more in southeast Asia:  Phillippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, etc.  If you haven't been over here, you have no idea what HOT is.............I work with teachers who are hotter than most women I've seen in Miami.


Since: Apr 1, 2010
Posted on: January 19, 2012 1:54 am

Stiff NCAA penalties on the way with new model

Moonglam. U of M is absolutely NOT getting the death penalty. In fact, their penalty is likely to be less than USC. It does not appear that UM knew anything. And when they found out they self reported. Guess what, UM players had sex with a lot of unbelievably hot girls, some or many of whom were strippers/prostitutes. There are a lot of football players in big time football schools that can have sex with a girl every night. These players might have known they were paid talent, but many or most of them probably had no idea. "let me introduce you to this girl, she is dying to meet you..." But they were out on amazing boats, pool parties, mansions, etc. Guess what, that is what a lot of college kids do in Miami. They go to clubs until 5:00 or later. Drinks are $14-$18 for a beer, wine or drink. Most kids can't afford that, but someone in the group is buying (A surprising number of college through early 30s kids are from international families that are among the worlds wealthiest.). Those kids buy 2-3 bottles at $250-$400 a pop. Why? They have the money and the girls come socialize since they drink free. (and they are almost all hotter that the hottest girl at your school. There are more hot women on any given street in Miami than there are in a Victoria's Secret catalog.) Few guys get the same treatment. Except the close friends, and people that make them cooler than they are. Such as?... celebrities and athletes.

Since: Jan 19, 2012
Posted on: January 19, 2012 12:27 am

Stiff NCAA penalties on the way with new model

Aside from the actual sanctions that the NCAA has placed on USC in the case, the lingering problem is the misperception that still exists in the media and among college football fans in general. One of reasons for this misperception is that many sportswriters and media analysts simply do not or will not read anything longer than a blog note.  Some writers read about as many newspapers as Sarah Palin.  So, it would be rather absurd to have expected them to pore over the voluminous material in the NCAA’s allegations against USC and the university’s subsequent appeal. Since USC and public relations people have been rather negligent in explaining the infractions in simple layman’s terms, many misconceptions pervade even today.

So, for those who are still laboring under those misconceptions, here is the Cliffs Notes version.

  • USC did not pay Reggie Bush to play football.
  • USC did not give Bush’s family a home in exchange for their son playing football for the Trojans.
  • USC did not buy Reggie Bush a car or give him money to purchase a car.
  • No USC booster or patron ever gave Bush or his family any money or other financial benefits.
  • Lloyd Lake, the person who provided a home for the Bush’s and a used car for Reggie Bush, was not a booster or even a fan of USC.
  • Lloyd Lake was an ex-convict who had delusions of becoming a sports agent.  When he left prison, he realized that a friend of his, Reggie Bush’s stepfather, LaMar Griffin, had a stepson, Reggie Bush, who was gaining fame playing college football.
  • Lake provided Griffin a home as well as other benefits in return for his stepson, Reggie Bush, signing with Lake’s fledgling sports agency when he decided to play in the NFL.

Here are the actual NCAA allegations against USC:

  • USC’s Compliance Department failed to check the incomplete registration form for Reggie Bush’s vehicle.
  • USC’s Compliance Department and former head football coach, Pete Carroll, failed to check the living arrangements for Bush’s family in San Diego, some 130 miles from the Los Angeles campus.
  • Former head coach Pete Carroll ran open practices, where the NCAA believed that sports agents and their staffers could have come in contact with the players although no such contacts were ever uncovered.
  • Former Athletic Director Mike Garrett failed to increase an undermanned Compliance Department that had only two employees.
  • The Athletic Department failed to properly investigate the alleged violations or cooperate fully with the NCAA’s investigators.
  • An assistant football coach, Todd McNair, was accused by Lloyd Lake of having known about Lake’s arrangements with the Bush family.
  • Todd McNair denied the accusation but the NCAA preferred to take the word of Lloyd Lake, an ex-convict.
  • The above violations were lumped together with the O.J. Mayo recruitment violation, which USC self-sanctioned, and the case of a woman’s tennis player who used an athletics department long-distance access code to make 123 unauthorized international telephone calls to family members.
  • By lumping all three cases together, the NCAA was able to hit USC with a Lack of Institutional Control (LOIC) violation.

Basically, that is the long and short of it.  So, for those of you who may have been laboring under some misconceptions about what exactly USC did or did not do, I hope this clears that up.

This article lays it out USC DID NOT CHEAT, the Bush family did. USC was guilty of not monitoring the situation but does that equal 30 SCHOLARSHIPS for ONE Player. How does anyone justify this? So how many scholarships will Auburn or Ohio State lose? When Todd McNair wins his court case and he will and it shows the one-sided and unfair treatment of USC, what say you then. Why hasn't Ohio State had to return its trophy when Clarett was on the take?

Since: Jan 19, 2012
Posted on: January 19, 2012 12:20 am

Stiff NCAA penalties on the way with new model

Once again a USC hater shows their ignorance. USC HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH REGGIE BUSH CHEATING. NO BOOSTER, NO COACH, McNair is suing the NCAA and will win on this point, NO ONE AT THE UNIVERSITY. Gotten away with crap for years like... crickets. WHAT A JOKE! CAn you name one thing that USC got away with for years? YOU CAN'T!

BAMA was not punished like USC. The last team that hit like USC was SMU. I can not wait until USC plays your weak SEC and wax that. BTW USC vs the SEC 19-10, OWNED!!!

Since: Dec 2, 2007
Posted on: January 18, 2012 11:58 pm

Stiff NCAA penalties on the way with new model

If I were UNC, Tennessee, South Carolina, Miami and a few others I would be a little wary about the upcoming hearings with the NCAA
Most certainly!!!  What happened at South Carolina was FAR worse than anything found at Ohio State and they were basically penalized for 3 seasons even though the official statement was 1 year:  they had to forfeit and pay back last year, got shafted by losing half their roster this year, and then lose next year as well.  SC should get much worse than that--more on a level with their USC counterpart on the west coast most likely.  Miami on the other hand is the worst of all and could be looking at the highest level penalties on their chart--though I didn't see a death penalty on it, they might get it. 



Since: Apr 21, 2011
Posted on: January 18, 2012 1:34 pm

Stiff NCAA penalties on the way with new model

Fischer has no expertise in administrative law. If Fisher had basic competency in that field, he would realize that what the NCAA has done is create guidelines for setting penalties, not immutable templates mandating specific judgments. The NCAA guidelines are analogous to schedules of offenses and penalties commonly enforced by employers which serve the purpose of generally establishing penalties that may be enforced on employees for misconduct. What Fischer questionably fails to provide is the actual list of offenses and penalties, preferring to gnash over old issues on his own conn. He expects the reader to undiscerningly concur with his assessment despite depriving readers the information necessary to project whether or not Fischer's assessment is fair, objective and consistent with the standards. Fischer expects readers to just trust his opinion because he says so.

Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: January 18, 2012 11:15 am

So, make them retroactive

Now that Mark Emmert has let BFF/mentor Gordon Gee and THE Ohio State University off the hook with minimal "punishment" that isn't even close to what they deserve for a ten year pattern of cheating, lying, and stonewalling, the NCAA decides to get serious?  What a bleeping joke.  
If they pass these rules, somebody needs to revisit the Ohio State University investigation.  Most of all, they need to stop requiring that witnesses testify before the committee.  Even a total moron would be suspiscious of the fact that every witness who agrees to testify against Ohio State suddenly "changes his mind" and doesn't do it.  
As long as this stupid rule is in place, members of Ohio State's "sacred brotherhood" will continue to threaten the well-being of potential witnesses and their families, and nobody will ever testify against them.  All the NCAA needs to do is change the standard of proof to not include testimony in front of the committee, and it will free them to give chronic cheaters like THE Ohio State University the punishment they truly deserve.
I'm not holding my breath... 

Since: Jan 18, 2012
Posted on: January 18, 2012 10:35 am

Stiff NCAA penalties on the way with new model

If I were UNC, Tennessee, South Carolina, Miami and a few others I would be a little wary about the upcoming hearings with the NCAA!

Since: Apr 29, 2010
Posted on: January 18, 2012 8:15 am

Stiff NCAA penalties on the way with new model

Good and funny points! Washington and Oregon State Presidents on top of NCAA now and directly involved with penalties for violators. More underground politics at work in NCAA than the mafia? Probably. I'm sure they'll be non biased in their judgements however(!). Nonetheless Ducks should appear to have concerns on several fronts based on the new grid. One certaintly is their timing to be mixed up in things is flat out terrible.

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