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College Sports, Division I

Division I Committee on Infractions Releases Decision in Pepperdine University Case

On July 3, 2012, the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions (COI) released its decision regarding the Pepperdine University enforcement case. The COI found the institution failed to monitor its athletics program. Specifically, the violations included “incorrect eligibility certifications of transfer student-athletes and non-athletic scholarships awarded to student-athletes without applying the aid to the total number of athletics scholarships allowed.” These violations occurred in five sports. The penalties implemented as a result of this decision include: (1) three years of probation; (2) a vacation of athletics records; and (3) scholarship limitations.

Institutions should note the COI emphasized the importance of devoting the resources necessary to put in place a “thorough and comprehensive” campus-wide compliance system. Specifically, institutions should take note that effective monitoring systems must include proper training and rules-education for any employee  whose responsibilities interface with with athletics or has responsibilities that fall within the purview of NCAA legislation. Recent cases, including the present case, have showed a continued demand for shared responsibility by the COI.

In the present case, the institution failed to: (1) monitor its athletics program from the 2005-06 through 2010-11 academic years by misapplying progress-toward-degree rules for transfer student athletes; (2) seek reinstatement for an ineligible student-athlete; (3) comply with the maximum number of allowable scholarships; (4) maintain squad lists; (5) document exempt non-athletics scholarships; and (6) execute a certificate of compliance.

The public report from the COI can be found here.

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About Justin P. Sievert, Esquire

Bar Admissions (North Carolina, Florida and Tennessee) Practice Area (College Sports Law)

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