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College Sports, Division I, Education

Boise State Announces its Appeal of the NCAA Infractions Decision: A Review of the Appeal Standards

According to a September 28, 2011, article in the Idaho Statesman, Boise State University announced on September 27, 2011, that it will appeal the football-related sanctions handed down by the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions. The Committee on Infractions issued its decision on September 13, 2011. The committee found that Boise State violated multiple NCAA rules in various sports. Specifically, the case included numerous major violations involving more than 75 prospects and student-athletes in five sports over the course of five years. The sports programs involved were football, men’s and women’s cross-country and track and field, and men’s and women’s tennis. Along with the institutional findings, the former head women’s tennis coach was cited for unethical conduct and a failure to monitor and a former assistant track coach was also cited for unethical conduct. In addition, numerous recruiting violations were found, including impermissible lodging, transportation, practice sessions, financial aid and cash payments.

The penalties issued by the committee included a four-year show-cause order for the former women’s head tennis coach and a two-year show-cause order for the former assistant track coach, which will restrict these former coaches’ recruiting at any NCAA member institution for the specified periods of time. Boise State’s penalties will include:

  • public reprimand and censure;
  • three years of probation;
  • one-year ban on postseason play following the 2011-12 women’s tennis season;
  • reduction of football scholarships from 85 to 82 for the 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14 academic years;
  • reduction of men’s and women’s track and field scholarships by 1.5 equivalencies from the average annual amount awarded the past four years during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years;
  • reduction in women’s tennis scholarships from eight to five during the 2011-12, 2012-13 academic years;
  • reduction in practice opportunities for football, men’s tennis and women’s tennis;
  • reduction in official recruiting visits for men’s tennis, men’s track and field and cross-country, and women’s track and field and cross-country;
  • reduction in number of recruiters permitted to recruit off-campus for six months during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years for men’s and women’s track and field and cross-country;
  • two-year prohibition in the recruitment of international prospective student-athletes for men’s and women’s cross-country and track and field and women’s tennis; and
  • vacation of all wins in which a particular women’s tennis student-athlete participated during the 2008-09 season, including any postseason competition, and the student-athlete’s individual records.

Boise State’s appeal in front of the NCAA Division I Infractions Appeals Committee is not a second opportunity to argue the case or an opportunity to present new evidence. Rather, the Infractions Appeals Committee  will reverse or modify a ruling of the Committee on Infractions only if one of the following standards is proven:

  • The ruling by the Committee on Infractions was clearly contrary to the evidence.
  • The individual or school did not actually break NCAA rules.
  • There was a procedural error that caused the Committee on Infractions to find a violation of NCAA rules.
  • The penalty was excessive and is an abuse of discretion.

The decision of the Infractions Appeals Committee is final.

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About Michael L. Buckner, Esquire

An attorney who provides clients with internal investigation, compliance, professional development and legal services.

Discussion

One thought on “Boise State Announces its Appeal of the NCAA Infractions Decision: A Review of the Appeal Standards

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