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Associate Director of Public and Media Relations
The NCAA Division I Infractions Appeals Committee has upheld a Boise State University football spring practice penalty and sent the reduction in football scholarships penalty back to the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions for reconsideration.
The Boise State infractions case involved a series of major violations with more than 75 prospects and student-athletes in five sports over the course of five years. The involved sports included football, men’s and women’s cross country and track and field, and men’s and women’s tennis. Multiple recruiting violations were found, including impermissible lodging, transportation, practice sessions, financial aid and cash payments. The former head women’s tennis coach was cited for unethical conduct and a failure to monitor. A former assistant track coach was also cited for unethical conduct.
Penalties, including those self-imposed by the university, are a four-year show-cause order for the former head women’s tennis coach and a two-year show-cause order for the former assistant track coach, a one-year postseason ban for women’s tennis, recruiting restrictions, scholarship reductions, vacation of records, a $5,000 fine and three years of probation.
In its appeal, the university requested the football spring practice penalty be reversed because the restrictions do not relate directly to a practice time violation. After review, the Infractions Appeals Committee upheld the penalty.
Additionally, Boise State argued in its appeal that the history of football scholarship reduction penalties imposed by the Committee on Infractions were inconsistent with the scholarship reduction penalties imposed in this case. In response, the Infractions Appeals Committee noted that the scholarship reduction penalty precedent from prior cases should have been more fully weighed and considered. Due to this, the Infractions Appeals Committee sent the penalty back to the Committee on Infractions for reconsideration.
In considering the university’s appeal, the Infractions Appeals Committee reviewed the notice of appeal; the transcript of the university’s Committee on Infractions hearing; and the submissions by both the university and the Committee on Infractions.
The Infractions Appeals Committee may overturn a finding of a violation if it is contrary to the evidence, does not constitute a violation of NCAA rules, or due to a procedural error. A penalty by the Committee on Infractions may be set aside on appeal if the penalty is excessive such that it constituted an abuse of discretion by the Committee on Infractions.
The members of the Infractions Appeals Committee who heard this case were: David Williams, chair and vice chancellor and general counsel, Vanderbilt University; Susan Cross Lipnickey, health studies professor and the faculty athletics representative at Miami University (Ohio); Jack Friedenthal, professor of law at George Washington University; W. Anthony Jenkins, attorney at Dickinson Wright PLLC; and Patti Ohlendorf, vice president for legal affairs at University of Texas at Austin.