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College Sports, Division I, Education

NCAA Secondary Case Review: Institutional Control and Recruiting

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 13.14.1-Institutional Control. 

All funds for the recruiting of prospective student-athletes shall be deposited with the member institution, which shall be exclusively and entirely responsible for the manner in which such funds are expended.

The bylaw was cited in Secondary Case Number 47301 (decided on November 4, 2011 [Division: I Involved Sport: Women’s Water Polo]), which is summarized below:

Facts: During August 2010, a representative of the institution’s athletics interests (representative) funded a trip for the head women;s water polo coach (HC) during which the HC evaluated and had recruiting contact with prospects. Specifically, the representative procured and paid for all travel and lodging arrangements for the HC and his family for a trip to Hawaii from August 5 through August 10, 2010. During the trip, the HC had in-person contact with a prospective student-athlete and evaluated a prospective student-athlete. The HC was unaware that his usual and routine recruiting activities would constitute a violation in this instance.

Additional Facts: None.

Institution Action: Letter of admonishment issued to involved head coach. The situation will be reviewed for all coaches at next rules education. Compliance office staff will review the situation and legislation with the institution’s various athletic support groups.

Enforcement Action: The institution should be required to preclude the women’s water polo program from engaging in any off-campus recruiting activities for a period of one week.

Eligibility Action: STAFF: None.

Rationale: STAFF: None.

The Michael L. Buckner Law Firm recommends institutions: (a) review the secondary report summarized above; and (b) enhance any relevant aspects of the institution’s rules-compliance program to address the issues contained in the report.


About Michael L. Buckner, Esquire

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


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