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.
The NCAA makes a purposeful distinction between determining student-athlete responsibility through an eligibility decision and university culpability through the infractions process.
Institutions are accountable for rules violations through the infractions process. Student-athletes are responsible for rules violations through the eligibility process.
Reinstatement decisions are independent of the NCAA enforcement structure and typically are made once the facts of the student-athlete’s involvement are determined. The reinstatement process is likely to conclude before an investigation closes.
An enforcement investigation could affect student-athlete eligibility, which is why the reinstatement process must be addressed by institutional officials as soon as they are aware of violations.
The NCAA looks at each student-athlete eligibility decision based on its merits. In making the decision, the staff and Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee examine a number of factors, including guidelines established by the membership for what conditions should be applied based on the nature and scope of the violation. Decision-makers also consider mitigating factors to determine if relief from the guidelines should be provided.
The easiest way to think about the two processes is this: Enforcement involves violations involving an institution or its employees. The eligibility process is triggered when a student-athlete has culpability for a violation.Last Updated: Jan 21, 2013