This week the Michael L. Buckner Law Firm continues its weekly summary of the biggest news stories in NCAA compliance and enforcement. Below are the top stories for this past week.
Takeaway: The NCAA’s new academic standards require an institution to meet one of two requirements to be eligible for postseason play during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years: A four-year APR average of 900 or a 930 average on the school’s two most recent reports. By 2014-15, schools that fall below 930 would have to hit 940 on their two-year scores to be eligible. In 2015-16, the two-year average disappears and schools must have a 930 average over the four-year period. The NCAA, however, may allow colleges identified as “low-resource” schools more time to comply with the new standards. While these schools would still need to meet the four-year average of 900 for the next two seasons, their APR score would have to hit only 910 in 2014-15 and 920 in 2015-16. They wouldn’t have to hit 930 until 2016-17, and the two-year averages would not count. The NCAA defines low-resource schools as “those ranked in the bottom 15 percentile, based on an overall average of institutional spending per student, athletic expenses per student-athlete and the average Pell Grant per student.” This does not include FBS institutions.
Takeaway: Springfield College sports management professor Kathryn Shea argues ““the NCAA is just not enforcing the toughest penalties any more…It costs more to comply with NCAA rules than it does to violate them.”
Takeaway: The NCAA Division III Committee on Infractions found Kean University lacked institutional control and failed to monitor its women’s basketball program, leading to impermissible financial aid and extra benefits for its student-athletes. Further, the former women’s head basketball coach failed to establish an atmosphere of rules compliance, according to the committee, and Kean also was cited for providing financial-aid packages in violation of NCAA legislation, which impacted student-athletes across four sports.
Takeaway: NCAA spokesman Bob Williams stated colleges have known about the standard and penalties since 2006. Williams added, every other team at UConn and around the Northeast met the standard, so the real issue is the academic performance of UConn’s men’s basketball team.
Takeaway: Shorter University, which is transitioning from the NAIA to the NCAA, details the preparation work involved in the move. Some of the key issues addressed were the establishment of an athletics compliance program and compliance manual, the Year One Candidacy Member Annual Report and Institutional Self-Study Guide and rules-education seminars for athletics staff members and coaches.