//
You are reading...
College Sports, Division I, Education

NCAA Uses Little-Used “Tool” in the University of Miami Investigation: The History of Limited Immunity

CBSSports.com reported the athletics eligibility of former University of Miami (UM) student-athletes (including Robert Marve and Arthur Brown) who transferred to other institutions and former UM prospective student-athletes were restored by the NCAA after receiving “limited immunity” from the association. Simply, the former UM student-athletes and prospects have become NCAA “informants” in return for avoiding severe sanctions. The NCAA enforcement staff has not confirmed the use of limited immunity in the UM enforcement case. However, NCAA vice-president of enforcement Julie Roe Lach hinted to CBSSports.com that “the enforcement staff has been given, by the membership, a pretty important investigative tool.”

The limited immunity legislation comprises two parts:

Bylaw 32.3.8.1 (Athletics Personnel)

At the request of the enforcement staff, the Committee on Infractions may grant limited immunity to an institutional employee with responsibilities related to athletics based on information that the employee reports when such an employee otherwise would be subject to disciplinary action as described in Bylaws 19.5.1-(i) and 19.5.2-(k). Such immunity shall not apply to the employee’s involvement in violations of NCAA legislation not reported or to future involvement in violations of NCAA legislation by the employee or to any action taken by an institution.  In any case, such immunity shall not be granted unless the employee provides information not otherwise available to the enforcement staff. (Revised: 10/12/94, 4/24/03, 4/28/11)

Bylaw 32.3.8.2 (Student-Athlete or Prospective Student-Athlete)

At the request of the enforcement staff, the Committee on Infractions may grant limited immunity to a student-athlete or prospective student-athlete when such individual otherwise might be declared ineligible for intercollegiate competition based on information reported to the enforcement staff by the individual or a third party associated with the individual.  Such immunity shall not apply to the individual’s involvement in violations of NCAA legislation not reported or to future involvement in violations of NCAA legislation by the individual or to any action taken by an institution. In any case, such immunity shall not be granted unless the relevant information would not otherwise be available to the enforcement staff. (Adopted:  4/28/11)

During the past 15 years, the NCAA enforcement staff applied the limited immunity legislation in the following enforcement cases:

  • January 8, 2002: “At the request of the institution’s faculty athletics representative, the enforcement staff asked for and received limited immunity for the faculty athletics representative from the chair of the NCAA Division II Committee on Infractions.” [Oklahoma Panhandle State University, NCAA Division II Committee on Infractions Public Infractions Report (December 18, 2002).]
  • October 7, 1998: “After extending limited immunity to the student-athlete then a student-athlete at another institution, the enforcement staff conducted an interview of the student-athlete during which he provided much of the information, which formed the basis of this inquiry.” [University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions Public Infractions Report (December 12, 2000).]
  • Summer 2007: “The assistant men’s basketball coach refused to furnish information relevant to the investigation of possible violations of NCAA regulations when requested to do so by the NCAA. During the spring of 1997, the assistant coach was interviewed twice by the university, and once by the university, a conference official and a member of the enforcement staff. The enforcement staff later sought to interview the assistant coach again regarding new evidence. At the assistant coach’s request, the chair of the Committee on Infractions granted the assistant coach limited immunity with regard to the additional interview and any new violations it might reveal. The enforcement staff contacted the assistant coach’s attorney on 10 occasions during the spring and summer of 1997 in attempts to schedule the interview, but the assistant coach refused to cooperate.” [Southeast Missouri State University, NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions Public Infractions Report (April 9, 1998).]
  • May 3, 1996: “On May 3, 1996, the enforcement staff sent a letter to the director of athletics notifying him that the NCAA had begun a preliminary investigation into the university’s softball program. Also in May, the enforcement staff requested and the committee granted limited immunity under NCAA Bylaw 32.3.7 to a former associate director of athletics who is currently the senior associate director of athletics at another institution. The enforcement staff conducted interviews in June, September and October.” [University of California, Los Angeles, NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions Public Infractions Report (May 6, 1997).]
  • March 1996: “In early March 1996, the father of a university men’s basketball student-athlete telephoned the NCAA national office to report alleged violations in the university’s men’s basketball program. On March 21, the NCAA Committee on Infractions granted limited immunity to the student-athlete. Later in March, the enforcement staff interviewed the student-athlete and several additional individuals. An additional witness was later granted limited immunity although he is not presently involved in intercollegiate athletics.” [University of California, Berkeley, NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions Public Infractions Report (July 17, 1997).]
Advertisements

About Michael L. Buckner, Esquire

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

Discussion

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: