You are here

Division II Best Practices for Conducting an Investigation of Possible Violations

Institutions should have policies and procedures for investigating possible violations. These procedures should be in writing, approved by the institution's president or chancellor, and identify who on campus is responsible for conducting the investigation/review.

The following is a list of steps as best practices for conducting an investigation of possible violations:

Step 1

The athletics compliance office is notified immediately of a possible violation.

Step 2

The athletics compliance office reviews the facts of the situation to determine if a violation occurred.

If NO- No further action is necessary.

If YES- Move on to Step 3.

Step 3

The athletics compliance office must make a determination if the violation is major or secondary in nature.

Major Violation

If, based on the facts, there is a possible major violation; the athletics compliance office should immediately report the incident to the director of athletics and president or chancellor. Those individuals should determine all necessary and immediate actions, including a detailed public relation plan. The athletics compliance office should also notify the sports information/media relations staff regarding appropriate responses to inquiries while the investigation is being conducted.

Secondary Violation

If, based on the facts, there is a possible secondary violation, the athletics compliance office should proceed with the NCAA Secondary Violation Self-Reporting Instructions. (Attached). The athletics compliance office should meet with the director of athletics, faculty athletic representative, and other involved individual(s) to determine if the secondary violation is a Level I or Level II violation.

Step 4

For a possible major or secondary Level I violation, notify the designated institutional staff members to begin investigative work. The athletics compliance office should identify all personnel involved in the process as well as their responsibilities in conducting the investigation. This group should review the information in a timely manner, and proceed to Step 6.

Step 5

If it is determined that a Secondary Level II violation occurred, the institution must impose prescribed penalties, report the violation on the Level II Violation Report Form and forward the 'running list' of violations to the conference office or national office enforcement staff on a quarterly basis.

If an institution believes that the circumstances are such that the prescribed penalty is not appropriate, it may submit the violation to the NCAA staff for processing with an explanation as to why relief from the prescribed penalty should be provided.

If there are no prescribed penalties required per NCAA legislation, institutions and conferences should take appropriate corrective measures to address the issue.

A copy of the report should be sent to the president or chancellor, director of athletics, faculty athletic representative and compliance committee, with a copy kept on file in the athletics compliance office.

NOTE: Violations designated as Level II secondary violations could be considered major under certain circumstances. In addition, multiple Level II violations could be taken together and considered major.

Step 6

At its earliest convenience, the athletics compliance office and the involved parties should issue, in writing, a detailed report of the incident(s) using the following guidelines:

  • The date and location of the incident.
  • A description of the incident.
  • The identity of the coaches, prospective and enrolled student-athletes and other individuals involved in the incident.
  • How and why the incident occurred.
  • The means by which the individual became aware of the possible violation.
  • Any other information that should be considered in reviewing the case.
  • Date the report is issued.

Copies of this report should be forwarded to the institutional investigative committee.

Step 7

At its earliest convenience, the designated institutional investigative committee should meet and interview separately all involved parties. An interview guide should be developed and used to ensure the same questions are asked of each party, and that if different questions are applicable, those are addressed adequately. Follow-up questions should be documented in each interview.

Step 8

Once all pertinent information has been gathered and reviewed and it has been determined that a Major or Secondary Level I violation has occurred, a self-report should be summarized by the athletics compliance office and director of athletics. The report must be sent to the NCAA and the conference office. The report shall include the following information:

  • The date and location of the violation.
  • A description of the violation, including the rule that was violated.
  • The identity of the coaches, prospective and enrolled student-athletes and other individuals involved in the violation.
  • The reason(s) the violation occurred.
  • The means by which the institution became aware of the violation.
  • All investigative actions the institution completed.
  • A list of corrective and disciplinary actions taken by the institution (self-imposed) and conference (if any).
  • An acknowledgement that a violation occurred and the institution's position regarding whether the violation is major/secondary.
  • A statement indicating whether any eligibility issues need to be resolved and, if so, whether the institution is requesting restoration of eligibility for any prospective or enrolled student-athletes.
  • Any other information that should be considered in reviewing the case.
  • Date of the self-report.

Copies of complete report(s) should be forwarded to the president or chancellor, director of athletics, faculty athletic representative, athletics compliance committee and all involved staff members/student-athletes.

Step 9

The institution may issue letters of admonishment and/or reprimand, when appropriate, for institutional and noninstitutional employees.

Step 10

The institution should strengthen rules education and preventive measures in the compliance area of which the violation occurred. Further evaluation should occur of the involved staff member(s) responsible for oversight.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this document is provided as a reference to member institutions and does not constitute binding advice on compliance with NCAA rules and bylaws. Any inquiries related to NCAA rules and bylaws should be directed to the NCAA Membership Services staff. The most updated information regarding NCAA Division II rules, bylaws and procedures can be found by accessing the information on LSDBi.