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National notes

Posted on: September 8, 2010 12:11 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2010 12:21 pm

Welcome to your up-to-date primer on eligibility issues ...

They are usually young, impressionable. Oftentimes they are female.

That's why Ohio State AD Gene Smith switches tutors every two years, as if the athletic department was a getting a compliance oil change.

"We're not the only ones," Smith said. "We change them out every two years because they get close to the kids."

Or at least the possibility exists. It's something to consider as North Carolina deals with NCAA investigations on two fronts. Thirteen players were held out of the LSU opener for various reasons. The school is looking into allegations that a tutor with close ties to coach Butch Davis may have written papers for players.

Part of the problem no doubt plaguing North Carolina is how to define academic fraud in this case. One prominent compliance officer told that even writing an outline for a paper can become an issue.

"We teach our people to do nothing," Smith said of his tutors. "Talk them through the issues, talk them through the challenges. Don't write anything for them. If you write notes, it's notes to help them understand. But that's so hard. I feel sorry for them [tutors]."
If any money changed hands between parties, things get murkier. Any extra benefit over $100 could mean a suspension. Without a paper trail, it might be in the offenders' best interest to keep any admission of payment under that amount.

"If it's over a $100 it's a major [violation],"Smith said. "If it's under, you pay restitution ...Back in the day, it wasn't the tutors saying, 'You have to pay me this.' Back in the day it was players saying, 'Thanks for doing this for me,' and giving them money. The player would say, 'Here's 20 bucks or 50 bucks.' Then it emerged where the tutor has stopped charging."

The emotional attachment thing --possible hero worship -- remains a concern. That's why Ohio State swaps out its tutors. Smith laid out a fake scenario involving his star quarterback to prove his point.

"If you were tutoring, say Terrelle Pryor, your math tutor comes in. [The player is a] freshman, unassuming. You tutor him in math. You hear more about things in his life than just math. You establish a relationship.

"They you do it in Year Two, then you do it in Year Three. Here he is going into his Heisman year, you're tutoring him in math. He's got all this pressure on him, comes into one of these tutorial sessions and just starts opening up. Then you've got to get him to do his math. Next thing you know you're doing it." recently dug into the NCAA's reinstatement guidelines. There is generally mathematical aspect to gaining back eligibility after receiving extra benefits.

This is directly from the NCAA ...

"If the value of the benefit ranges from greater than $100 to $300 = 10 percent withholding condition and repayment."

... between $300 and $500 it is 20 percent withholding (assuming that is number of contests) and repayment.

More than $500, 30 percent withholding.

That probably explains Marcell Dareus'  situation. The NCAA originally considered suspending the star defensive tackle for four games after Dareus was found to have accepted approximately $1,800 in improper benefits. The NCAA said mitigating circumstances reduced the suspension to two games.

Four games would fit into the NCAA's mathematical guidelines (four out of 12 regular-season games = 33 percent).

A Wednesday report surfaced that Georgia receiver A.J. Green had been suspended because he sold a game-worn jersey for less than $1,000. Given the NCAA formula, Georgia better hope it is way less than $1,000. Green could be suspended three more games if the price was more than $500.

    Also, don't be surprised if North Carolina "staggers" its suspensions. The school was forced to withhold 13 players in the LSU opener due to various issues.

The NCAA allows staggering "if multiple student-athletes from the same team are required to be withheld," creating, "a potential health risk ... due to playing with a decreased squad size." The NCAA says the largest number of players should be withheld from the first contest to speed up the process.

In other words, expect a lot more Tar Heels to be available on Sept. 18 when it next plays against Georgia Tech.

Category: NCAAF

Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: October 13, 2011 9:09 am

National notes

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Since: Sep 3, 2006
Posted on: September 8, 2010 2:45 pm
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