On October 25, 2012, the NCAA released a document discussing head coach responsibilities regarding compliance and violations of NCAA legislation. Specifically, the document highlighted the NCAA’s new language for Bylaw 11.2.1, the effects of Level I, II and III violations occurring in a head coach’s sport and actions a coach may take to promote an atmosphere of compliance within his or her program.
One of the most important messages for head coaches and institution’s athletics compliance offices to understand is that a head coach’s ignorance is not an acceptable defense to violations that occur within his or her program. The document states, “a head coach is presumed responsible for major/Level I and Level II violations (e.g. academic fraud, recruiting inducements) occurring within his or her program unless the coach can show he or she promoted an atmosphere of compliance and monitored his or her staff.” Essentially, what this means is when a violation occurs within a head coach’s program, the burden of proof is shifted to the head coach to prove that he or she promoted an atmosphere of compliance within his or her program, and he or she properly monitored the actions of his or her staff members. Staff members can include any assistant coaches or administrators who report directly or indirectly to the head coach. A coach who is found responsible for the most serious violations may be subject to an entire-season suspension.
Additionally, the document highlights certain areas where head coaches should have heightened awareness. These areas include the investigation of potential red flags and the handling of high-profile student-athletes. More information on what should be included, at a minimum, in a high-profile due-diligence program, can be found here.
The full document can be found here (via USA Today Sports).