Posted on: February 18, 2012 11:17 am
Edited on: February 18, 2012 11:23 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
The NCAA's proposal for multiyear scholarships for student-athletes, adopted following the August 2011 presidential retreat, narrowly passed a membership override vote on Friday.
A total of 330 Division I institutions voted, with 62.12% voting to override the legislation. According to NCAA bylaws, a 62.5% percent majority of those voting is required for an override. According to NCAA.org blogger John Infante, only two override votes could have changed the outcome.
“I am pleased that student-athletes will continue to benefit from the ability of institutions to offer athletics aid for more than one year, but it’s clear that there are significant portions of the membership with legitimate concerns,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said. “As we continue to examine implementation of the rule, we want to work with the membership to address those concerns.”
The legislation does not require an institution to offer guaranteed scholarships for more than one year, but several notable football programs - including Auburn - have announced their plans to participate in the practice. While the multiyear scholarship legislation survived the override vote, a proposal to adjust the miscellaneous expense allowance is still being reviewed by the NCAA Board of Directors.
The Board will consider new options for the stipend legislation in April.
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Posted on: October 27, 2011 3:15 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
For the last few years, a growing drumbeat has sounded about the gap in scholarship money and the "full cost of attendance," which would cover the everyday college expenses that fall outside the purview of what's covered by a full scholarship. Athlete advocates have called such a gap unfair, especially with how many restrictions exist on how athletes may earn extra money. Now, it appears the NCAA has not only listened, it has agreed -- and will do something about it.
On Thursday, the NCAA approved a financial package to distribute up to $2,000 a year or enough to cover full cost of attendance (whichever is less) to "student-athletes in head-count sports (football and basketball) and those in equivalency sports who reach the value of a full scholarship." These extra funds will not be affected by Pell Grants, which is further good news for student-athletes who come from households that struggle financially.
Here's the rest of what the NCAA approved, compiled by Eye on College Basketball's Jeff Goodman:
Altogether, this is quite possibly the biggest piece of reform the NCAA has put forward in decades, and is certainly one of the most beneficial reforms it has offered to the players ever. Between the extra money, multi-year scholarships, and continuing aid once a student-athlete becomes just a student, the NCAA has firmly come down in favor of the players -- and against the worst abuses of big-time college sports, like oversigning.
Is this all a perfect fix? No. Can student-athletes get rich in college off of this? Of course not. But is the situation for student-athletes incrementally better than it was before this reform? Yes, substantially so, and if student-athlete welfare is high on your list of priorities, this is a welcome development.
Posted on: August 16, 2011 6:26 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2011 2:33 am
Former Miami booster and indicted Ponzi schemer Nevin Shapiro provided thousands of dollars in impermissible benefits to "at least 72 student-athletes" between 2002 and 2010, according to a Yahoo! Sports report.
The investigation included over 100 hours of jailhouse interviews with Shapiro, along with financial records and corroboration from several sources - including former Miami players - to support the claims. Among the most alarming details to the program include seven former coaches and three athletic support staff who either witnessed, had knowledge of, or even participated in Shapiro committing all kinds of NCAA violations. The report details the life of a rampant rule-breaker who was never told to stop.
"At a cost that Shapiro estimates in the millions of dollars, he said his benefits to athletes included but were not limited to: cash, prostitutes, entertainment in his multimillion-dollar homes and yacht, paid trips to high-end restaurants and nightclubs, jewelry, bounties for on-field play (including bounties for injuring opposing players), travel and on one occasion, an abortion," Robinson writes.
One former Miami player, running back Tyrone Moss, told Yahoo! Sports he accepted $1,000 from Shapiro around the time he was entering college. "Hell yeah, I recruited a lot of kids for Miami," Shapiro told Yahoo! Sports. "With access to the clubs, access to the strip joints. My house. My boat. We're talking about high school football players. Not anybody can just get into the clubs or strip joints. Who is going to pay for it and make it happen? That was me."
The University of Miami has not commented specifically on the allegations made by Shapiro, as is generally the policy of schools under NCAA investigation, except to say that Shapiro was not as forthcoming to the school and to the NCAA as he was to Yahoo! Sports.
“When Shapiro made his allegations nearly a year ago, he and his attorneys refused to provide any facts to the university,” Miami associate for communications Chris Freet said. “We notified the NCAA enforcement officials of these allegations. We are fully cooperating with the NCAA and are conducting a joint investigation. We take these matters very seriously.”
Shapiro was once one of Miami's most prominent boosters, donating hundreds of thousands of dollars (and committing $250,000 more) to the football program, and presenting head basketball coach Frank Haith (now of Missouri) and current Miami president Donna Shalala with a check for $50,000 -- earmarked for the basketball program -- at one fundraiser. Shapiro alleges that his donations were was enough for Miami's brass to look the other way on the litany of violations he was perpetrating because they were so desperate for donations.
In fact, not only did Miami officials cast a blind eye to Shapiro, they embraced him as a booster, naming a student lounge after him and letting him lead the team onto its home field before games -- twice. In fact, former Miami athletic director Paul Dee maintained as of Tuesday that Miami "didn't have any suspicion that he was doing anything like this. He didn't do anything to cause concern." Dee is the former chair of the NCAA Committee on Infractions, having served the maximum allowable nine-year term as chair.
Shapiro said he gave money, cars, yacht trips, jewelry, televisions and other gifts to a long list of notable former Hurricanes including Vince Wilfork, Jon Beason, Antrel Rolle, Devin Hester, Willis McGahee and the late Sean Taylor.
The potential fall-out from this report could be devastating to the Miami athletic department. Miami's football program was hit with serious sanctions in 1995. Many thought that the program would be protected by any allegations because of the NCAA's four-year statute of limitations. However, under NCAA bylaw 36.2.3 an investigation can expand beyond the statute if information reveals that in individual tied to a university has engaged in "a pattern of willful violations" over a sustained period beyond the previous four years.
One of the most damning aspects of the report was that while Shapiro was a booster for the Hurricanes, he was also acting as a runner for a sports agency -- Axcess Sports & Entertainment -- that he also owned a minority share of. Shapiro's partner in that agency, former NFL agent and current UFL commissioner Michael Huyghue, vehemently denied Shapiro's charges to the Associated Press.
"It's just fantasy," Huyghue said. "He never had any role in my company. He didn't have the acumen to represent players."
Yahoo! Sports reported that Axcess signee Vince Wilfork received $50,000 and a pair of Cadillac Escalades from Shapiro on behalf of the agency, however, and that Hester recognized Shapiro as a runner (though Hester did not name which agent).
Among the litany of gifts and incentives that Shapiro lavished on the Hurricanes included a $5,000 bounty on rival quarterbacks Chris Rix of Florida State and Tim Tebow of Florida. Neither quarterback was knocked out of a game against Miami, but Shapiro said Rix was targeted several time by Miami defenders.
“We pounded the (expletive) out of [Rix],” Shapiro said. “Watch the tape of those games. You’ll see so many big hits on him. Guys were all going after that $5,000 in cash. [Jon Vilma] tried to kill him – just crushed him – a couple of times trying to get that $5,000. And he almost got it, too.”
Vilma, a current member of the New Orleans Saints, did not comment to Yahoo! Sports.
Now, Shapiro's prediction of the "death penalty" for Miami -- an entire season's cancellation, which is punishment only meted out by the NCAA once, to flagrant and repeat offenders Southern Methodist, in 1987 -- will probably not come true. Robinson even said as much in an interview on ESPN on Tuesday night, saying the idea isn't "reasonable or possible with any program anymore."
And yet it might be. For perhaps the first time since that fateful day in February 1987, the notion of a "death penalty" is now at least a remote possibility. For Miami, that means some of the NCAA's strongest sanctions are likely in store, so even if the worst-case scenario doesn't come true, the once-storied program will probably be damaged for years and years to come.
AP Sports Writers Steven Wine, Eric Olson, Cliff Brunt and RB Fallstrom contributed to this story.
Tags: ACC, Adam Jacobi, Antrel Rolle, Axcess Sports & Entertainment, Chip Patterson, Chris Freet, Chris Rix, Death Penalty, Devin Hester, Donna Shalala, Florida, Florida State, Frank Haith, Jon Beason, Jon Vilma, Larry Coker, Miami, Miami Death Penalty, Miami Investigation, Miami NCAA, Miami Repeat Offenders, Miami Report, Miami Yahoo Report, Michael Huyghue, Missouri, NCAA Bylaws, NCAA Death Penalty, NCAA Investigation, NCAA Miami, Nevin Shapiro, New Orleans Saints, Paul Dee, Randy Shannon, Repeat Offenders, Sean Taylor, SMU Death Penalty, Tim Tebow, Tyrone Moss, Vince Wilfork, Willis McGahee
Posted on: June 21, 2011 1:49 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Drip, drip, drip.
That's generally how news comes out about NCAA investigations at schools and it appears Oregon fans are finding that out all too well this week. Monday night Oregon released several documents to the media as part of open records requests stemming from the NCAA's investigation into the scouting service run by Will Lyles. The biggest nugget to come out of the documents was the fact that the university paid $25,000 for a scouting report that was two years old.
Lyles' "2011 National Package" was full of recruits from the 2009 class and had, among the notable names, SMU's junior starting quarterback Kyle Padron. In fact, none of the 140 players in the booklet Oregon turned over were identified as recruits in the class of 2011. Lyles has been connected to current Oregon running backs LaMichael James and Lache Seastrunk and former running back Dontae Williams, all of whom are from Texas.
So what's next?
CBSSports.com Senior Writer Dennis Dodd, who is in Eugene this week, wrote Tuesday morning that it's hard for him to believe Oregon could be this dumb. After all, paying $25,000 for something that pales in comparison to any other national package and paying that amount for old and relatively useless information is something they can smell all the way in Indianapolis.
While most Oregon fans can admit that the entire episode seems shady, it's hard to see what NCAA bylaws the school broke in paying Lyles $25,000 for his recruiting service.
There are four main bylaws that govern scouting or recruiting services: 126.96.36.199 (school personnel can't consult or endorse services), 188.8.131.52 (services can distribute student-athletes information but can't be paid a fee based on placing them at a school), 184.108.40.206 (coaches can't watch off-campus video of athletes provided by services) and 13.14.3, which is the main definition of a recruiting or scouting service.
Oregon needs to be concerned about 220.127.116.11 and 13.14.3 (below):
Based on the documents turned over to the media by Oregon, Lyles' service he provided the school fails to fit (c) and (d) because he did not distribute reports at least four times per year and his geographical scope does not fit the definition of a national package. The "National" package Lyles sent was supposed to contain information on 22 states yet only contained information from five states and all but five players were from the state of Texas. A national package it was not.
According to George Schroeder of the Register-Guard, the media requested the video Lyles sent along but a school spokesman said 'Lyles delivered some video, but said the school had difficulty retrieving the video from its computer system, or separating it from video gathered by other means.'
While it is difficult to predict what the NCAA enforcement staff will do, it's very possible they will declare this an impermissible recruiting service. The staff could then argue that the $25,000 was - in essence - a payoff for delivering players and a violation of bylaw 18.104.22.168. This would place the players eligibility in question as well and could result in victories being vacated for playing ineligible players. It would also mean Oregon committed a major violation.
Oregon and the Ducks' coaching staff would certainly have to explain themselves (so far the university has issued a no comment). The Committee on Infractions would certainly want an explanation and would no doubt dare Chip Kelly and the compliance department to show how they could justify $25,000 for old information. Saying they were just defrauded by Lyles likely won't cut it and failure to answer the question truthfully or a failure to explain why they didn't raise the issue beforehand could result in a 10.1 violation for unethical conduct. Ask Jim Tressel and Ohio State what happens when they commit a 10.1 violation.
One BCS conference compliance officer told CBSSports.com that based on what they've read, "It doesn't look good but I won't predict how it plays out." Another said, "It's possible Oregon thought what they were doing was permissible but got it very wrong."
The school has not been issued a Notice of Inquiry, which marks the formal start of the investigation but the NCAA is certainly looking what has been going on in Eugene. Combined with an inquiry into the basketball program and the fact that Oregon coaches exchanged around 400 text messages and numerous phone calls with Lyles, things are starting to get very interesting.
No one knows how things might turn out for Oregon but there is cause for concern in Eugene.
Posted on: April 8, 2011 1:49 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
News broke Friday morning that the NCAA issued a new staff interpretation that clarifies recent bylaw changes as they relate to a scouting/recruiting service. CBSSports.com has obtained two emails that were sent out on the issue, both of which point out that the NCAA has classified recruiting website Rivals.com as a scouting service. The emails obtained are below and this article provides a good explanation of the resulting changes to the actual NCAA bylaws. Stay tuned to CBSSports.com for more on this developing story.