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College Sports, Division I

Pac-12 Conference Compliance and Enforcement Round-Up

University of Southern California

On September 1, 2012, the Los Angeles Times reported Scott Schenter’s county work emails suggest the former appraiser provided former University of Southern California football student-athlete Joe McKnight with a car and an airline ticket, and former basketball student-athlete Davon Jefferson with about $3,700 in cash. The newspaper stated the information was obtained under the California Public Records Act.

If the NCAA determined the student-athletes accepted improper gifts, USC could face discipline as the association’s four-year statute of limitations would have not yet expired. The institution originally investigated the relationship between McKnight and Schenter’s in 2009. The NCAA accepted USC’s findings that no violation occurred.

The full article can be found here.

University of Oregon

On September 1, 2012, the Register-Guard reported the University of Oregon released documents regarding the institution’s ongoing NCAA enforcement investigation suggesting the case may be processed through summary disposition.

The summary disposition process involves a written submission of the investigative findings from the institution, NCAA enforcement staff and other involved parties to the Committee on Infractions. The institution and any involved parties also provide any proposed penalties. Once received, the Committee on Infractions will review the submission and determine if the investigation was thorough and complete and whether the proposed penalties are appropriate.

If the COI accepts the findings and agrees with the penalties it will issue a report and the case is concluded. If the COI does not agree with the findings, or it believes the violations are so serious a full hearing is warranted, it can reject the summary disposition and move forward with a hearing. If the COI agrees with the findings, but does not believe the penalties are fitting, it can suggest additional penalties. If the institution and/or involved individual(s) do not agree with these penalties, they can request an expedited hearing where only information regarding the penalties is discussed. The institution and/or involved individuals can appeal the additional penalties through the appeals process.

The documents also suggest the institution may be subject to NCAA Bylaw 19.5.2.1.1, which would subject the institution to enhanced penalties. The institution’s last major enforcement case was processed in 2004, and the possible violations in the ongoing case may have begun as early as 2008.

The NCAA’s formal investigation of the University of Oregon football program and its use of scouting services to identify PSAs has been ongoing for over a year. Willie Lyles, who owned Complete Scouting Services, alleged the institution paid him for his influence in the decision-making of various PSAs, which would be a violation of NCAA rules.

The full article can be found here.

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About Justin P. Sievert, Esquire

Bar Admissions (North Carolina, Florida and Tennessee) Practice Area (College Sports Law)

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