On January 9, 2013, the NCAA published an article reviewing the NCAA’s new enforcement structure, which is ready to be released this upcoming August. According to the Enforcement Working Group, which worked with the NCAA membership, to create the new model, the purpose of implementing penalty guidelines was two-fold. First, there was a desire to curb potential rule-breakers from making a “risk/reward” analysis when weighing the consequences of violating NCAA legislation. Additionally, there was a desire by the membership to know what the expectation was if certain violations were committed to allow for greater consistency in penalty application.
The new penalty matrix, which was based upon the United States Federal Sentencing Guidelines, will provide the Committee on Infractions a range of penalties to address Level I and II violations (the new model has four levels of violations). Level I and II violations are those that are significant or severe and “threaten the integrity of the collegiate model.” While the matrix provides a range of expected outcomes, the penalties can be mitigated or aggravated based on the circumstances of the case. Additionally, the Committee on Infractions will have what is essentially an “out-clause”, which will allow the Committee to deviate from the range to impose penalties that may better fit a specific case.
While the report suggests any deviation from the guidelines would be “rare,” it is impossible to ascertain the actual effect this “out-clause” would have until the new system is actually implemented and tested. Should this “out-clause” be exercised consistently on a subjective basis the new model would essentially be a reformatted version of the current system.
The full article can be found here.