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College Sports, Education

NCAA Investigation of Tressel and Ohio State: A Review of the Pertinent NCAA Bylaws

In light of the Ohio State University’s March 8, 2011, self-imposed sanctions against head football coach Jim Tressel for failing to notify the institution about information the coach obtained from an undisclosed attorney in April 2010 concerning allegations of improper benefits involving members of the football program, the Michael L. Buckner Law Firm wanted to provide its readers with an overview of some of the pertinent NCAA bylaws that are relevant to the case (the bylaws can be accessed on the NCAA website, www.ncaa.org):

NCAA Constitution 2.8.1 (Responsibility of Institution)
Each institution shall comply with all applicable rules and regulations of the Association in the conduct of its intercollegiate athletics programs. It shall monitor its programs to assure compliance and to identify and report to the Association instances in which compliance has not been achieved. In any such instance, the institution shall cooperate fully with the Association and shall take appropriate corrective actions. Members of an institution’s staff, student-athletes, and other individuals and groups representing the institution’s athletics interests shall comply with the applicable Association rules, and the member institution shall be responsible for such compliance.

NCAA Constitution 6.01.1 (Institutional Control)
The control and responsibility for the conduct of intercollegiate athletics shall be exercised by the institution itself and by the conference(s), if any, of which it is a member. Administrative control or faculty control, or a combination of the two, shall constitute institutional control.

NCAA Bylaw 10.1 (Unethical Conduct)
Unethical conduct by a prospective or enrolled student-athlete or a current or former institutional staff member, which includes any individual who performs work for the institution or the athletics department even if he or she does not receive compensation for such work, may include, but is not limited to, the following: (Revised: 1/10/90, 1/9/96, 2/22/01, 10/5/10)
(a) Refusal to furnish information relevant to an investigation of a possible violation of an NCAA regulation when requested to do so by the NCAA or the individual’s institution;
(b) Knowing involvement in arranging for fraudulent academic credit or false transcripts for a prospective or an enrolled student-athlete;
(c) Knowing involvement in offering or providing a prospective or an enrolled student-athlete an improper inducement or extra benefit or improper financial aid; (Revised: 1/9/96)
(d) Knowingly furnishing or knowingly influencing others to furnish the NCAA or the individual’s institution false or misleading information concerning an individual’s involvement in or knowledge of matters relevant to a possible violation of an NCAA regulation; (Revised: 1/16/10)
(e) Receipt of benefits by an institutional staff member for facilitating or arranging a meeting between a student-athlete and an agent, financial advisor or a representative of an agent or advisor (e.g., “runner”); (Adopted: 1/9/96, Revised: 8/4/05)
(f) Knowing involvement in providing a banned substance or impermissible supplement to student-athletes, or knowingly providing medications to student-athletes contrary to medical licensure, commonly accepted standards of care in sports medicine practice, or state and federal law. This provision shall not apply to banned substances for which the student-athlete has received a medical exception per Bylaw; however, the substance must be provided in accordance with medical licensure, commonly accepted standards of care and state or federal law; (Adopted: 8/4/05, Revised: 5/6/08)
(g) Failure to provide complete and accurate information to the NCAA, the NCAA Eligibility Center or an institution’s admissions office regarding an individual’s academic record (e.g., schools attended, completion of coursework, grades and test scores); (Adopted: 4/27/06, Revised: 10/23/07)
(h) Fraudulence or misconduct in connection with entrance or placement examinations; (Adopted: 4/27/06)
(i) Engaging in any athletics competition under an assumed name or with intent to otherwise deceive; or (Adopted: 4/27/06)
(j) Failure to provide complete and accurate information to the NCAA, the NCAA Eligibility Center or the institution’s athletics department regarding an individual’s amateur status. (Adopted: 1/8/07, Revised: 5/9/07)

NCAA Bylaw (Responsibility of Head Coach)
It shall be the responsibility of an institution’s head coach to promote an atmosphere for compliance within the program supervised by the coach and to monitor the activities regarding compliance of all assistant coaches and other administrators involved with the program who report directly or indirectly to the coach. (Adopted: 4/28/05)


About Michael L. Buckner, Esquire

An attorney who provides clients with internal investigation, civil litigation, estate planning and compliance services.


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