The four-level violation structure ranges from severe breaches of conduct to incidental infractions. The structure, which replaces the current two-tier approach (major and secondary violations), is designed to focus most on conduct breaches that seriously undermine or threaten the integrity of the NCAA Constitution and bylaws.
"Having four levels of violations is helpful because it allows us to distinguish between severe and significant in the new structure as opposed to simply major and secondary violations in the previous model." - Oregon State President Ed Ray, former chair of the NCAA Executive Committee who also chairs the Enforcement Working Group.
Level I: Severe breach of conduct
Violations that seriously undermine or threaten the integrity of the NCAA collegiate model as set forth in the Constitution and bylaws, including any violation that provides or is intended to provide a substantial or extensive recruiting, competitive or other advantage, or a substantial or extensive impermissible benefit.
Level II: Significant breach of conduct
Violations that provide or are intended to provide more than a minimal but less than a substantial or extensive recruiting, competitive or other advantage; includes more than a minimal but less than a substantial or extensive impermissible benefit; or involves conduct that may compromise the integrity of the NCAA collegiate model as set forth in the Constitution and bylaws.
Level III: Breach of conduct
Violations that are isolated or limited in nature; provide no more than a minimal recruiting, competitive or other advantage; and do not include more than a minimal impermissible benefit. Multiple Level IV violations may collectively be considered a breach of conduct.
Level IV: Incidental issues
Incidental infractions that are inadvertent and isolated, technical in nature and result in a negligible, if any, competitive advantage. Level IV infractions generally will not affect eligibility for intercollegiate athletics.
Examples of violations
- Lack of institutional control.
- Academic fraud.
- Failure to cooperate in an NCAA enforcement investigation.
- Individual unethical or dishonest conduct.
- Head coach responsibility violation by a head coach resulting from an underlying Level I violation by an individual within the sport program.
- Violations that do not rise to the level of Level I violations and are more serious than Level III violations.
- Failure to monitor.
- Systemic violations that do not amount to a lack of institutional control.
- Multiple recruiting, financial aid, or eligibility violations that do not amount. to a lack of institutional control.
- Collective Level III violations.