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Latest enforcement memo to conference commissioners

February 21, 2018

TO: Collegiate Commissioners Association.

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

SUBJECT: Enforcement activity.

Changes and challenges facing intercollegiate athletics are well-documented, so I won’t repeat them here. Instead, I’ll provide this group an enforcement-centric perspective on a few of those. We’ll look backwards briefly, and then we’ll look ahead.

Looking back

Calendar year 2017 was significant. In terms of volume, the enforcement staff submitted 27 Level I/II/major cases to the NCAA Committees on Infractions. That is one case shy of a record, and much higher than a typical year.[1] Consistent with our understanding of member priorities, most of the cases enforcement submitted involved either recruiting violations or academic misconduct or both. Of the allegations submitted, roughly 90 percent were found.

Last year also brought federal investigators into intercollegiate athletics. As reported, our department will not interfere with investigations of potential criminal activity. However, in consultation with federal authorities and impacted institutions, we will investigate possible NCAA infractions. There will certainly be challenges when those investigations begin, but we will be both fair and aggressive in determining whether violations occurred. We look forward to the cooperation of schools and their representatives in those inquiries.

More recently, the Division I Board of Directors approved charging guidelines for the four most significant NCAA infractions: lack of institutional control, failure to monitor, unethical conduct and head coach control. The guidelines provide insight into how the enforcement staff analyzes these important charges. They were adopted after extensive member input, and I’m confident they will be helpful for your offices and your schools.

Looking ahead

If 2017 saw significant activity, 2018 promises to deliver significant change. The Commission on College Basketball will deliver recommendations shortly, and our department will work to implement any enforcement-related changes that are adopted. Similarly, we will continue supporting other member-led reviews of the infractions process.

Beyond familiar enforcement studies, we will also participate as appropriate in discussions about broader public policy matters. These are complicated subjects, and we anticipate candid dialogue about enforcement’s role, if any, in issues that are prevalent on campus and in athletics.

In conclusion, enforcement’s desire is to stand in partnership with commissioners, conference offices, member schools and others to advance the interests of the Association. We will continue working within the infractions process to detect threats to fair competition and present those to the membership, through the Committee on Infractions. Outside of cases, we will continue building relationships and exploring appropriate, effective and innovative ways to impact the environment favorably. We look forward to working alongside your group and your respective member schools to that end. In the meantime, as always, please do not hesitate to contact me with any comments or questions.

[1] During the year, we also processed 5,210 Level III/secondary violations. That figure is higher than any previous year.