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.

Comments

Since: Nov 18, 2008
Posted on: January 17, 2012 7:37 pm
 

Stiff NCAA penalties on the way with new model

Now they need to address oversigning.  As that is a significant competitive advantage for those schools that do so.  If they want fairness - oversigning needs to be addressed.



Since: Feb 4, 2009
Posted on: January 17, 2012 7:30 pm
 

Stiff NCAA penalties on the way with new model

USC should be on probation every year just because California sucks :)



Since: Jan 17, 2012
Posted on: January 17, 2012 7:18 pm
 

Re:Stiff NCAA penalties on the way with new model

Up until two years ago, Mark Emmert was the University of Washington president. Ed Ray is still the Oregon State University president. And those two schools' chief rival, the University of Oregon, is still under investigation for alledged Willie Lyles recruiting violations. I have a feeling that investigation will be back in the news shortly now that the new penalties have been established. Alabama will just have to wait.




Since: Jan 17, 2012
Posted on: January 17, 2012 6:20 pm
 

Stiff NCAA penalties on the way with new model

Well, they should have already been down to Tuscaloosa, Al.  Nick Saben and his merry men have the most corrupt football program in the history of college football.  They have won 2 National Championships on probation with players bought and paid for in some capacity.  The NCAA has not even investigated the T-Towns Mens Wear with pictures nor the house that is provided to Trent Richardson's family by an booster's daughter that is documented in tax assessor's office. All in all, The University of Alabama's clock is ticking in the direction of severe violations. Hope they get what is due them. No Alabama media would never say anything negative about Saben or his program. Hope all these new rules will be in place when their time comes.



Since: Nov 7, 2006
Posted on: January 17, 2012 6:05 pm
 

Stiff NCAA penalties on the way with new model

Good job with the story, though the NCAA will remain limited in its reach so long as it lacks subpoena power.




Since: Apr 14, 2011
Posted on: January 17, 2012 5:31 pm
 

Stiff NCAA penalties on the way with new model

With the inset photo of former tOSU football head coach honest Jim Tressel, is it safe to assume he was a guest speaker at the NCAA convention or is it a moment of much needed light-hearted jocularity from sportsline.com?  His name is not written in the story although Ohio State is mentioned.

If NCAA were serious about the infractions, they would have written a clause where the death penalty could be used as a sanction.  There won't be any push back on the current matrix because no one wants to get caught with their hands in the cookie jar and be subject to a lighter penalty for a specific infraction.

The cheating will still continue and once again the NCAA will be irrelevant.  The only way these penalties would have any teeth is if the conference are subject to sanctions as well as the offending college.  Glory.



Since: Jul 23, 2011
Posted on: January 17, 2012 5:08 pm
 

Stiff NCAA penalties on the way with new model

The problem with this whole business is, of course, that infractions occur everywhere.  And not just at major D1A institutions.  "Enforcement" occurs only when the lottery hits at the enforced-upon school (and this is a lottery that nobody wants to win).  This sort of death penalty could legitimately be enforced upon probably 95% of the colleges in the NCAA, from D1 through D3.

So long as findings of infractions occur as the result of a random-number generator rather than actual legal discovery, this approach is about as stupid a proposal as I have yet seen from this confederacy of dunces.  Mark Emmert is a pox upon student-athletics.  The sooner the NCAA is dissolved and replaced by an organization whose primary goal is promoting the welfare and best interests of student-athletes, the better. 



Since: Jun 25, 2007
Posted on: January 17, 2012 5:02 pm
 

Stiff NCAA penalties on the way with new model

The end game in all of this is that the enforcement of these penalties be administered fairly and evenly across all levels and schools.  It should make absolutely NO DIFFERENCE if the school is Ohio State, Miami-FL, or Texas or Alabama State, Miami-OH or New Mexico State (school names used for example purposes only).

The enforcement should be based on "if you get caught doing this, this is your penalty" not well it's Miami-FL so we'll only do this much, and it's USC so we'll throw the book at them (again schools used for examples only).

There has been a time where sports were shut down for violations.  This has to be an option.  Read up on the 1952-53 Kentucky Wildcats.  They had won the NCAA basketball tournament in 48, 49, and 51.  They got caught violating the rules such that the NCAA closed them down in 1952-53.  No games period -- just like SMU in the '80s.

Again the death penalty has to be written in so that if the school crosses the line, they get shut down.  Period.

The biggest point is that there has to be fair and even enforcement without care to how much money or how popular a school happens to be.



Since: Apr 11, 2007
Posted on: January 17, 2012 4:33 pm
 

Stiff NCAA penalties on the way with new model

And then also read the financial penalties again.  The second column asks to "negate revenue from sport program for years in which violations occurred" and to impose such penalty for Aggravations or Significant Aggravations for sports where the revenue would exceed the percent of budget fine.  The way I read that is that if your sport (e.g. football) makes more revenue than 2.5% of the sport's budget, then that revenue is forfeited.  If your sport (e.g. crew) makes no revenue, then you are fined the 2.5% of the budget.  That's a much bigger deal than a $375,000 fine for football - that's an entire season of revenue!!  Imagine USC having to forfeit an entire year's worth of TV money, ticket sales, and sponsorships.  That would gut the program for sure.



Since: Jul 13, 2007
Posted on: January 17, 2012 4:33 pm
 

Stiff NCAA penalties on the way with new model

Well, not SO surprising re: Pat Haden, Bryan since all of this: "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" was FAR less than proven against USC.  That's why the unfair punishment...other than the fact that teams like Miami who did far worse weren't nearly as harshly punished.


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