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: Penn State University announced it will respond within days to the NCAA’s demand for information. The NCAA is currently debating whether the institution could face penalties in the aftermath of the child sex abuse scandal involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. In a report from the associated press, university president Rodney Erikson stated, “he doesn’t want to ‘jump to conclusions’ about possible sanctions.”
Takeaway: Joe Paterno’s family has advised its legal counsel to form a group of “experts” to conduct its own review of the facts and findings presented last week in the Freeh Report. Wick Sollers, attorney for the family, has stated the Freeh Report will not be the “last word” on the matter.
Takeaway: The NCAA Division II Membership Committee has conditionally approved Simon Frasor, a Canadian institution, as an active member of Division II. The NCAA’s executive committee is expected to consider the move on August 1, 2012.
Takeaway: The NCAA Committee on Academic Performance “reaffirmed” its stance on APR data collection for postseason eligibility, which effectively finalized the University of Connecticut men’s basketball program’s ban from the 2013 NCAA Tournament. Walt Harrison, chairman of the committee, stated “these policies were originally devised after considering several important conditions and objectives that are desired in the Division I Academic Performance Program (APP).” The objectives included:
- Penalty decisions should be based on a body of data sufficient to support valid decisions;
- Procedures should provide adequate time for a fair and deliberate process that ensures that data are correct and all waiver requests put forward by a school are given thorough review;
- Data used in making decisions on penalties or eligibility for postseason competition should be as close as practicable in time to the implementation of those decisions; and
- Procedures should enable consideration of student-athletes’ interests in transferring if their own academic performances have been strong and they are in their last season of eligibility.