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College Sports, Division I, Education

NCAA Secondary Case Review: Prospects Receiving Impermissible Items During Campus Visit

The Michael L. Buckner Law Firm continues its educational series on NCAA legislation through a review of selected cases involving secondary rules-violations. Today’s post reviews a secondary case involving a violation of the following NCAA legislation:

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 13.2.1 – General Regulation.

An institution’s staff member or any representative of its athletics interests shall not be involved, directly or indirectly, in making arrangements for or giving or offering to give any financial aid or other benefits to a prospective student-athlete or his or her relatives or friends, other than expressly permitted by NCAA regulations.  Receipt of a benefit by a prospective student-athlete or his or her relatives or friends is not a violation of NCAA legislation if it is determined that the same benefit is generally available to the institution’s prospective students or their relatives or friends or to a particular segment of the student body (e.g., international students, minority students) determined on a basis unrelated to athletics ability. [R] (Revised: 10/28/97, 11/1/00, 3/24/05)

NCAA Bylaw – Specific Prohibitions.

Specifically prohibited financial aid, benefits and arrangements include, but are not limited to, the following:

(a) An employment arrangement for a prospective student-athlete’s relatives;

(b) Gift of clothing or equipment;

(c) Cosigning of loans;

(d) Providing loans to a prospective student-athlete’s relatives or friends;

(e) Cash or like items;

(f) Any tangible items, including merchandise;

(g) Free or reduced-cost services, rentals or purchases of any type;

(h) Free or reduced-cost housing;

(i) Use of an institution’s athletics equipment (e.g., for a high school all-star game);

(j) Sponsorship of or arrangement for an awards banquet for high school, preparatory school or two-year-college athletes by an institution, representatives of its athletics interests or its alumni groups or booster clubs; and

(k) Expenses for academic services (e.g., tutoring, test preparation) to assist in the completion of initial-eligibility or transfer-eligibility requirements or improvement of the prospective student-athlete’s academic profile in conjunction with a waiver request.  (Adopted:  4/23/08)

The bylaws were cited in Secondary Case Number 46863 (decided on November 9, 2011 [Division: I Involved Sports: Men’s Basketball]), which is summarized below:

Facts: During March 2010, the prospective student-athlete (PSA) obtained an institutionally-issued shirt, valued at $25 and not available for purchase by the general public. Specifically, the PSA took an institutionally-issued Nike Dri-Fit shirt from the residence of another student-athlete during the PSA’s official visit to the institution. The PSA did not return the shirt prior to departing campus, and subsequently wore the shirt on the date the PSA signed a National Letter of Intent with the institution. The violation was discovered after the director of athletics and the assistant athletics director for compliance were shown a photograph of the PSA wearing the shirt during a National Letter of Intent signing ceremony at his two-year institution. During subsequent interviews conducted by the institution, the PSA provided false and misleading information as to how he obtained the shirt.

Additional Facts: None.

Institution Action: Institution has declared the PSA ineligible and was required to make restitution. The institution is not seeking reinstatement of the involved PSA.

Enforcement Action: No further action. However, please note that the PSA is ineligible for intercollegiate competition until his eligibility is restored by the NCAA student-athlete reinstatement staff.

Eligibility Action: WITHDRAWN.

Rationale: STAFF: None.


About Michael L. Buckner, Esquire

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


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