The NCAA enforcement program strives to maintain a level playing field for the more than 400,000 student-athletes. Commitment to fair play is a bedrock principle of the NCAA. The NCAA upholds that principle by enforcing membership-created rules that ensure equitable competition and protect the well-being of student-athletes at all member institutions.
Once the investigation has closed, the NCAA enforcement staff sends a notice of allegations to an institution and involved individuals. The notice of allegations outlines the rules that the institution is alleged to have broken and describes the facts of the case.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is institutional control?
Institutional control refers to the efforts institutions make to comply with NCAA legislation and to detect and investigate violations that do occur. NCAA member institutions are obligated to maintain appropriate levels of institutional control.
What does it mean when an institution is found to have a lack of institutional control?
A lack of institutional control is found when the Committee on Infractions determines that major violations occurred and the institution failed to display:
Adequate compliance measures.
Appropriate education on those compliance measures.
Sufficient monitoring to ensure the compliance measures are followed.
Swift action upon learning of a violation.
How is a lack-of-institutional-control violation different from a failure-to-monitor violation?
A failure-to-monitor violation, although serious, is a separate and distinct violation that is considered less significant than a lack of institutional control. Violations resulting from a failure-to-monitor violation are usually limited in scope and do not involve the widespread inadequacies in rules-compliance systems and functions that are often found in lack-of-institutional-control cases.
Can individuals be charged with a lack of institutional control or failure to monitor?
Yes. Coaches and staff members can be held personally responsible for failing to adequately monitor and exercise appropriate control over rules compliance in an athletics department or within a sport program. NCAA bylaws require head coaches to promote an atmosphere for compliance and to monitor the rules compliance of those who report to them.
Who receives the notice of allegations from the NCAA?
The notice of allegations is sent to institutional officials (that is, president, director of athletics, compliance director, faculty athletics representative and other persons involved in the case), individuals considered to be at risk for involvement in violations, and the head coaches of the involved programs.
Is there a statute of limitations for making allegations?
Yes. Allegations generally are based on violations that have occurred four or fewer years before the time an institution is notified of an investigation or an institution notifies the enforcement staff of violations. However, the enforcement staff may allege violations that have occurred beyond the four-year period if they involve (1) the eligibility of a current student-athlete, (2) a pattern of willful violations that began before the four-year window but continue into the four-year window or (3) a blatant disregard for certain fundamental rules (recruiting, extra benefits, academics, ethical conduct) or (4) an effort to conceal violations.
What is the difference between major violations and secondary violations? How do the penalties differ?
Secondary violations are isolated or inadvertent and provide only minimal recruiting, competitive or other advantages. They do not include significant impermissible benefits. If an institution commits several secondary violations, the violations may be collectively considered a major infraction. Secondary violations occur frequently, are usually resolved administratively and are not typically made public. Any violation that is not considered secondary is a major violation. Major violations usually provide an extensive recruiting or competitive advantage, are investigated by NCAA enforcement staff, and can lead to severe penalties against the school and involved individuals.
However, if an institution agrees with the facts that the investigation has uncovered, the case can enter the summary-disposition process before a notice of allegations is provided. In summary disposition, the school and the enforcement staff agree on the facts and a set of penalties to be imposed; no hearing before the Committee on Infractions is necessary.
Once an institution receives a notice of allegations, it has up to 90 days to respond in writing. Extensions can be provided. Evidence − including recorded interviews, summaries and transcripts − can be reviewed at the national office or through a private, secure website.