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April 2017 Enforcement Memo to Conference Commissioners

April 14, 2017

TO: Collegiate Commissioners Association.

FROM: Jonathan F. Duncan, Vice President of Enforcement.

SUBJECT: Enforcement activities.

 

The NCAA enforcement department continues our effort to provide effective, quality service to schools who make up our membership and yours. The department is busy, and I want you to be aware of our activities.

Reform Continues

In addition to case-related work, which I outlined in the last memorandum, our department continues exploring and implementing ways to improve. Some of those are internal changes within our authority and others are external reforms driven by member schools. Both are important.

Internally, we continue working to reduce the duration of investigations. Deadlines for later stages of a case are legislated in Article 19 (including 150 days for briefing alone). Although our staff cannot modify those timelines, we continue implementing changes that impact the early stages of cases where we have slightly more control. For example, we implemented an operating procedure to increase the accuracy and enforceability of projected investigation timelines. Since then, the duration of investigations has dropped by 4.5 months in cases submitted to the committee on infractions. This is best for all parties, including member schools and their important interests, so we will work to continue the positive trend.

With regard to member-driven reforms, our department is pleased to support an ongoing and thorough review of the infractions process by a group representing the NCAA Division I Council. The review group, which consists entirely of member schools and conferences, has taken a thoughtful approach to each component of the infractions process (i.e., the enforcement staff, the NCAA Committee on Infractions and the NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee). They dedicated considerable time to inputs from various stakeholders, including the final report from your CCA working group on enforcement. The review group's initial recommendations have already led to meaningful enhancements for all parties involved in the infractions process. As their work continues, enforcement will welcome additional direction from member schools.

Focused on Effectiveness

Internal changes and legislative enhancements are important, but reform is not the ultimate aim. Instead, the enforcement department uses ongoing improvements – both internal and external – to become increasingly effective in advancing the mission legislated in NCAA Bylaw 19.01.1. Beyond simply investigating and counting cases, our goal is to make a tangible and positive impact in intercollegiate athletics by working to reduce the universe of serious violations.

Proactively, we will continue strategic efforts to deter violations through education, communication, reporting and relationships. When violations nevertheless occur, we will keep getting better at detecting them. We will also employ recent enhancements and legislative changes to distinguish more clearly between culpable individuals and their employing institutions. For example, allegations and aggravating factors are now unique to individual parties in many instances. This allows our staff to be very specific in bringing allegations, even in a single case, and it allows the committee on infractions to do the same when calculating penalties.

We do all this for the benefit of schools, coaches, administrators, programs and student-athletes who comply with the NCAA constitution and bylaws. We do not want them to be disadvantaged by their commitment to compliance. We call it protecting the game.

In sum, I hope this brief report is helpful. I want the CCA fully informed of our activities, so please let me know if you have questions or need additional information.