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: On September 25, 2012, the Portales News-Tribune reported Eastern New Mexico University is expecting punishment from the NCAA because numerous student-athletes were missing required compliance paperwork. The report further indicates all university sports were affected outside of the institution’s rodeo teams, which are not governed by the NCAA. EMU president Steven Gamble stated the problems stemmed from a failure by the school’s certification officer in properly tracking eligibility paperwork. In light of this story, it is important institutions regularly monitor and update compliance policies and procedures to ensure compliance systems are operating efficiently. Institutions should also regularly schedule an external audit of all athletics compliance systems.
Takeaway: University of Georgia football coach Mike Bobo has been suspended from off-campus recruiting for a month due to a secondary violation. The violations involved escorting a PSA and his mother into an NCAA championship event without paying the cost of admission. NCAA Bylaw 126.96.36.199 prevents PSAs from receiving complimentary admission to NCAA Championships or other postseason contests. The violations were self-reported and the penalty was self-imposed. This violation is secondary in nature and no further action is likely.
Takeaway: Both Virginia and Duke’s men’s soccer programs have been unable to use a graduate soccer student-athlete this season due to NCAA Bylaw 188.8.131.52. The legislation charges a student-athlete with a season of competition for participation in intercollegiate competition as a member of an institution’s club team if that institution sponsored the sport as a varsity intercollegiate sport and as a club sport at the time of participation. In light of this story, institutions should ensure this legislation is addressed in the institution’s eligibility policies and procedures. There should also be regular communication with the institution’s recreation department (or appropriate department that houses club sports) regarding participation rosters for sports with a varsity counterpart.
Takeaway: ESPN.com has reported the Saint Mary’s men’s basketball program has been under NCAA investigation this year for potential recruiting violations. The specific nature of the investigation is unclear at this time. Institutions are reminded to ensure their athletics department has policies and procedures in place to address how investigations and reporting of potential rules-violations will operate.
Takeaway: ESPN.com has reported East Carolina University is in the process of firing suspended softball coach Tracey Kee and associate head coach Natalie Kozlowski following an internal inquiry into complaints about the program. The institution’s internal investigation found an emotionally hostile environment in the program, identified five potential secondary NCAA violations and said property and financial matters may not have been properly overseen.
Takeaway: The Nebraska State College System has announced Chadron State College has received a notice of allegations from the NCAA enforcement staff regarding potential violations involving the institution’s football program. The notice alleges the “institution failed to control all funds supporting its football program when William O’Boyle (O’Boyle), then head football coach, maintained impermissible accounts at off-campus financial institutions to pay various football program expenses. Additionally, some funds in the accounts were used to provide recruiting inducements to prospective student-athletes and extra benefits to student-athletes.” The notice also alleges unethical conduct and a failure to monitor against O’Boyle and potentially a failure to monitor or lack of institutional control charge against the institution. The institution self-reported the potential violations in July. A response to the NCAA is due by December 17, 2012.