Daily Compliance Item- 2.10.17- Current Event

NCAA finding immunity useful in effort to crack difficult investigations

USATODAY.com

Despite the typical chorus of criticism for the NCAA’s enforcement arm — most recently over North Carolina’s long-running academic fraud case — it would be difficult to fault its level of activity. The NCAA enforcement staff has submitted 30 cases to the Committee on Infractions since Jan. 1, 2016 with seven currently in the processing phase and 59 more currently being investigated.

During that time, the NCAA has levied penalties against Notre Dame football, Missouri basketball, Southern Miss basketball and former basketball coach Donnie Tyndall while also issuing allegations against Louisville basketball and Mississippi football, which have not yet been adjudicated.

Among the most interesting trends in those recent cases has been the use of “immunity” as a means for the NCAA to collect information during investigations. While it’s long been written into the NCAA’s bylaws as a tool for enforcement, it has gotten significantly more attention recently due to its usefulness in cracking some high-profile cases.

The NCAA used the testimony of a former assistant, who was granted immunity and still works in college basketball, to issue Tyndall a 10-year ban from coaching. Investigators also spoke with former Louisville recruits at other schools to help corroborate allegations that a former staff member had arranged for strippers and sex acts on visits, and according to a Yahoo! Sports report, offered immunity to SEC players at other schools who had been recruited by Ole Miss in exchange for information on potential violations.

Similar to the U.S. legal system offering freedom from prosecution in exchange for helpful information, NCAA vice president of enforcement Jon Duncan said it’s a valuable tool but stopped short of citing it as the primary reason for a recent uptick in activity.

“We track a lot of things, but we don’t track historical use of immunity,” he told USA TODAY Sports in a wide-ranging interview last month on NCAA enforcement issues. “We use it as appropriate now; I don’t know if it’s more or less. But it is effective.”

Though the NCAA has no subpoena power to compel people outside of its jurisdiction to help investigations, coaches and athletes are bound by rule to speak with the enforcement staff and risk significant penalties for not telling the truth. Duncan said offering immunity is particularly helpful with athletes who might be fearful that they would incriminate themselves in violations.

“Our desire is never to focus on student-athlete culpability,” Duncan said. “In enforcement, our broader desire is to zero in and focus on the adult culpability, the grown-ups who are involved in violations, and one way to substantiate information or to get refuting information is to talk to the student-athletes or prospective student-athletes, particularly in our focus areas of recruiting and academic integrity.

“It is effective to help encourage that young man or young woman to cooperate with us if he or she knows they’ll be eligible to play and won’t be cited for a violation of the infractions process.”

Duncan cautioned, however, that the NCAA enforcement staff doesn’t “have a pad of paper with immunity on it we can pass out to kids” and can’t, by rule, use it as a fishing expedition to look for violations. In fact, any immunity offer must first be approved by the NCAA Committee on Infractions chairman based on a specific request by enforcement.

“We have to make a case to them for why each individual — occasionally it’s grown-ups — should get immunity, how it will affect the investigation and why it’s needed,” Duncan said. “Then we take that and share it with the young man or young woman and their lawyer. Is it effective? We believe we get credible information in exchange for immunity in most cases, but we always have to be discerning consumers of information. Whether it’s in exchange for immunity or not, we always test the information we get.”

While the NCAA’s handling of the North Carolina case has drawn ire from both sides — ACC commissioner John Swofford has suggested a large-scale overhaul of the Committee on Infractions system due to the length and inconsistency of the investigation, while others are unsatisfied with the lack of punishment yet for massive academic fraud — Duncan’s leadership since taking over the department in 2013 has helped clean up the mess left by the botched University of Miami investigation.

NCAA reinstates allegations against UNC football, men’s basketball
The NCAA enforcement division was accused of overstepping its authority in that investigation by going against the advice of internal counsel and paying the attorney of imprisoned booster Nevin Shapiro for depositions from his bankruptcy proceedings. An external investigation of the department’s conduct in that matter resulted in a significant personnel and operational overhaul led by Duncan, who said he has asked to be held to the same standard for his department’s conduct as the NCAA’s new coach control obligation, where a head coach can be penalized for violations committed by their assistants unless they demonstrated that they promoted an atmosphere of compliance and monitoring of their staff.

“I monitor my direct and indirect reports and I’ve tasked my leadership to do the same thing,” Duncan said. “Not to micromanage, but to know where our staff members are and what they’re doing. I think it’s a good way to run a railroad and it helps us understand, as best we can, the obligations a head coach has. It puts us in a better position when it comes time to decide whether to bring that allegation when we know what it feels like to have those obligations.

“We’re committed to make the right decisions for the right reasons without regard to the pressures that may be out there, and any departure from the bylaws or operating procedures is over my objection and contrary to my instruction. They all know that and then we follow up with monitoring.”

This article was selected for educational purposes only.

Jennifer M. Condaras
Deputy Commissioner, NCAA Relations & Administration
Colonial Athletic Association

The opinions expressed in the Daily Compliance Item are the author’s and the author’s alone, and are not endorsed by The COLONIAL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION or JumpForward. The Daily Compliance Item is not a substitute for a compliance office, case specific research, or the NCAA Bylaws. Do some homework, ask around, and get it right.

Daily Compliance Item- 2.9.17- 12.8.3.1.2- Hardship Waiver and Subsequent Nonchampionship Competition

Jump Serve is a volleyball student-athlete at Ocean State University. Jump fractured her ankle in early October 2016 and was unable to compete for the remainder of the championship season. Because of her injury, Jump received a hardship waiver from the Ocean Eleven Conference office.

Since Jump received a hardship waiver, is she permitted to compete during the 2017 nonchampionship segment?

Yes. NCAA Staff Interpretation- 3/31/04- Competition in the Nonchampionship Segment After Qualifying for a Hardship Waiver in the Championship Segment (I/II) – states that a student-athlete who uses a season of competition in a sport listed in Division I Bylaw 14.2.3.1.2 or Division II Bylaw 14.2.4.1.2 may be granted a hardship waiver even if he or she subsequently participates during the nonchampionship segment, with the understanding that the injury or illness that occurred during the championship segment resulted in the student-athlete’s incapacity to participate for the remainder of the championship segment.

[References: Division I Bylaws 14.2.3.1.2 (exception – women’s volleyball, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, field hockey, men’s water polo) and 14.2.4 (hardship waiver); Division II Bylaws (exception – women’s volleyball, field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s water polo) and 14.2.5 (hardship waiver); and a 1/14/88 official interpretation, Item No. 24, and a 7/10/02 staff confirmation, item 1b, which have been archived.]

NCAA Bylaw 12.8.3.1.2 states that in field hockey, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, women’s volleyball and men’s water polo, a student-athlete may engage in intercollegiate competition during the segment of the playing season that does not conclude with the NCAA championship without using a season of competition, provided the student-athlete was academically eligible during the segment that concludes with the NCAA championship. (Adopted: 11/1/01, Revised: 8/8/02, 10/31/02, 5/9/06, 7/31/14)

Jennifer M. Condaras
Deputy Commissioner, NCAA Relations & Administration
Colonial Athletic Association

The opinions expressed in the Daily Compliance Item are the author’s and the author’s alone, and are not endorsed by The COLONIAL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION or JumpForward. The Daily Compliance Item is not a substitute for a compliance office, case specific research, or the NCAA Bylaws. Do some homework, ask around, and get it right.

Daily Compliance Item- 2.7.17- 14.5.5.3- Competition During Year of Transfer JC

Can N. Ball is a diving student-athlete at Bay State University (BSU). BSU finished its fall segment on December 16, 2016 and started the spring segment on January 23rd. Can was not happy at BSU, so she transferred to Ocean State University (OSU) in January. BSU granted Can the one-time transfer release.
Since Can competed during the fall segment at BSU, can she compete for OSU in the spring 2017 semester?

 
Yes with conditions. NCAA Bylaw 14.5.5.3 states that a transfer student from a four-year institution, who has received a waiver of or exception to the transfer residence requirement (per Bylaw 14.5.5.2), is not eligible to compete at the certifying institution during the segment that concludes with the NCAA championship if the student-athlete has competed during that segment of the same academic year in that sport at the previous four-year institution. (Adopted: 1/10/95 effective 8/1/95; Revised: 1/14/97 effective 8/1/97, 4/29/04 effective 8/1/04)

 
NCAA Official Interpretation- 12/13/05- Eligibility of Transfer Student-Athlete for Competition in Year of Transfer (I)- states that if the institution from which a student-athlete transfers at midyear declares separate non-championship and championship segments of its playing and practice season, a student-athlete may compete during the non-championship segment for such an institution and during the championship segment for the certifying institution during the same academic year in the same sport, provided the applicable transfer and progress- toward-degree eligibility requirements are satisfied. [References: Division I Bylaw 14.5.5.3 (competition in year of transfer); a 5/25/95 official interpretation, Item No. 5, and a 2/25/04 staff interpretation, item a, which have been archived.]

Jennifer M. Condaras
Deputy Commissioner, NCAA Relations & Administration
Colonial Athletic Association

The opinions expressed in the Daily Compliance Item are the author’s and the author’s alone, and are not endorsed by The COLONIAL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION or JumpForward. The Daily Compliance Item is not a substitute for a compliance office, case specific research, or the NCAA Bylaws. Do some homework, ask around, and get it right.

Daily Compliance Item- 2.3.17- 13.6.7.2- Complimentary Tickets for Prospects’ Guests

Front Court is a basketball prospect student-athlete being recruited by Ocean State University (OSU). Front lives close to OSU’s campus and goes to a lot of the home games. This weekend Front’s family is not able to go to the game with him, so he would like to take his high school coach. Is it permissible for the high school coach to use one of Front’s complimentary admissions to attend OSU’s game?

Yes with conditions. NCAA Staff Interpretation- 2/2/17- Complimentary Admissions for Home Contests to Coaches or Others Involved with Prospective Student-Athletes (I)- states that a prospective student-athlete may provide one of his or her complimentary admissions to a high school, preparatory school or two-year college coach or any other individual responsible for teaching or directing an activity in which a prospective student-athlete is involved as long as the admission is not provided at the direction of an institutional staff member and the issuing institution is designated as the home team.

[Reference: NCAA Division I Bylaws 13.6.7.2 (complimentary admissions), 13.7.2.1 (general restrictions), and 13.8.1 (entertainment restrictions), and staff interpretations (10/10/13, Item No. d) and (12/1/16, Item No. a.)]

Jennifer M. Condaras
Deputy Commissioner, NCAA Relations & Administration
Colonial Athletic Association

The opinions expressed in the Daily Compliance Item are the author’s and the author’s alone, and are not endorsed by The COLONIAL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION or JumpForward. The Daily Compliance Item is not a substitute for a compliance office, case specific research, or the NCAA Bylaws. Do some homework, ask around, and get it right.

Daily Compliance Item- 2.2.17- Current Event

NCAA appeals committee upholds penalties against Donnie Tyndall

USAToday.com

The NCAA infractions appeals committee upheld all penalties against former Tennessee and Southern Mississippi basketball coach Donnie Tyndall, including a 10-year show-cause, one of the most severe penalties in NCAA history, according a person with knowledge of the decision.

The person spoke Wednesday to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because the decision has not been made public.

The NCAA Committee on Infractions ruled that Tyndall, while at Southern Miss, directed members of his staff to commit academic fraud that would help get prospects eligible and that he fabricated a document to justify payments to academic-non qualifiers who were not eligible to receive scholarships.

Though Tyndall acknowledges violations occurred, he told USA TODAY Sports he did not orchestrate them or have knowledge they occurred until he heard the NCAA was looking into accusations. By that point, he had moved on to Tennessee, which fired him in 2015 in the midst of the investigation.

Tyndall is expected to bring legal action as a result of this decision. He is currently coaching as an assistant in the NBA D League.

This article was selected for educational purposes only.

Jennifer M. Condaras
Deputy Commissioner, NCAA Relations & Administration
Colonial Athletic Association

The opinions expressed in the Daily Compliance Item are the author’s and the author’s alone, and are not endorsed by The COLONIAL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION or JumpForward. The Daily Compliance Item is not a substitute for a compliance office, case specific research, or the NCAA Bylaws. Do some homework, ask around, and get it right.

Daily Compliance Item- 1.31.17- 13.15.2.1- Expenses for Initial Eligibility Paperwork

The Ocean State University (OSU) academic advisors within the athletic department want to make sure all the new football signees are on track with meeting NCAA initial eligibility standards. They would like to review the signees’ transcripts and test scores, so they ask the guidance counselors at each of the prospects’ high schools for this information. So there is not a delay in receiving these documents, is it permissible for OSU pay for express delivery charges for the high schools?

Yes with conditions. NCAA Bylaw 13.15.2.1 states that an institution may pay fees or provide expenses in the following situations related to a prospective student-athlete’s academic evaluation or test scores: (Adopted: 1/10/90, Revised: 10/20/14)
(a) A fee required by the appropriate testing agency to obtain a prospective student-athlete’s official ACT or SAT scores

(b) Expenses (e.g., document fees, express delivery charges) to obtain information or receive documents that are necessary to certify or evaluate the academic standing of a prospective student-athlete (e.g., transcripts, translation of transcripts); or

(c) Expenses (e.g., transcript fee, express delivery charges) for a prospective student-athlete’s institution to send his or her academic transcript to the Eligibility Center or for his or her ACT or SAT score to be sent from the testing agency to the Eligibility Center, provided the prospective student-athlete has signed a National Letter of Intent or the institution’s written offer of admission and/or financial aid or the institution has received his or her financial deposit in response to its offer of admission.

Jennifer M. Condaras
Deputy Commissioner, NCAA Relations & Administration
Colonial Athletic Association

The opinions expressed in the Daily Compliance Item are the author’s and the author’s alone, and are not endorsed by The COLONIAL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION or JumpForward. The Daily Compliance Item is not a substitute for a compliance office, case specific research, or the NCAA Bylaws. Do some homework, ask around, and get it right.

Daily Compliance Item- 1.30.17- 10.3, 10.3.1- Superbowl

Lucky Leroy is an athletic department staff member at New England University. Lucky and some of his friends decided to place a small bet for the Super bowl this weekend. Since Lucky’s institution does not sponsor football, he thought it was permissible to place the bet.

 
Is it permissible for Lucky to bet on the Super bowl?

 
No. NCAA Bylaw 10.3.1 states that the prohibition against sports wagering applies to any institutional practice or any competition (intercollegiate, amateur or professional) in a sport in which the Association conducts championship competition, in bowl subdivision football and in emerging sports for women. (Adopted: 4/26/07 effective 8/1/07)

 
NCAA Bylaw 10.3 states that the following individuals shall not knowingly participate in sports wagering activities or provide information to individuals involved in or associated with any type of sports wagering activities concerning intercollegiate, amateur or professional athletics competition: (Adopted: 4/26/07 effective 8/1/07)

 
(a) Staff members of an institution’s athletics department;
(b) Nonathletics department staff members who have responsibilities within or over the athletics department (e.g., chancellor or president, faculty athletics representative, individual to whom athletics reports);
(c) Staff members of a conference office; and
(d) Student-athletes.

 

Jennifer M. Condaras
Deputy Commissioner, NCAA Relations & Administration
Colonial Athletic Association

The opinions expressed in the Daily Compliance Item are the author’s and the author’s alone, and are not endorsed by The COLONIAL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION or JumpForward. The Daily Compliance Item is not a substitute for a compliance office, case specific research, or the NCAA Bylaws. Do some homework, ask around, and get it right.