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Independent investigators and decision-makers

Updated Aug. 8, 2018

Changes to the investigations and infractions process create independent groups to prevent conflicts of interest. Cases deemed complex will be eligible for this independent process. Examples of complex cases include alleged violations of core NCAA values, such as prioritizing academics and the well-being of student-athletes; the possibility of major penalties; or adversarial behavior. Multiple parties will be able to request a case be deemed complex: school representatives, NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions members or NCAA enforcement staff. The new groups include:

Independent Alternative Resolution Oversight Committee

This committee, composed of three public members of the NCAA Board of Governors and the chair and vice chair of the Division I Board of Directors, will oversee the entire independent enforcement and infractions processes. One of the public members will lead the group. In addition to general oversight, this committee will nominate members for the new independent groups listed below and work with the Division I Board of Directors on policies and procedures for the independent enforcement and infractions processes.

Infractions Referral Committee

When a school, the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions or NCAA enforcement staff requests a case enter the new independent process, this committee reviews and makes decisions on those requests. The committee’s five members will include one Independent College Sports Adjudication Panel member (see below), one Division I Committee on Infractions member, one Division I Infractions Appeals Committee member, the Division I Council chair and the NCAA vice president of enforcement.

Complex Case Unit

This independent investigations group will include both external investigators with no school or conference affiliations and select NCAA enforcement staff. Independent investigators are a key part of the new process. Once a case is referred, unit members will decide whether further investigation of the facts is needed and, if it is, conduct the investigation and shepherd the case through its review by the Independent College Sports Adjudication Panel.

Independent College Sports Adjudication Panel

This group will review the findings from the Complex Case Unit and the school’s response to those findings, and then oversee the case hearing and decide penalties. The panel will consist of 15 members with legal, higher education and/or sports backgrounds who are not affiliated with NCAA member schools or conferences. Each case will be handled by a panel of five of the 15 members.

This committee will have the ability to expand upon allegations presented by the Complex Case Unit if deemed appropriate. This is a change from the current infractions process.

These new structures and processes are effective Aug. 1, 2019.