NCAA Enforcement Section: Learn more about how the NCAA enforcement program strives to maintain a level playing field for the more than 400,000 student-athletes. Read more »
After an extensive review, NCAA vice president of enforcement Julie Roe Lach has restructured her staff to build upon prior successes while allowing more responsiveness to the changing environment. The staff will be functionally organized to develop information, investigate and process case. This structure will allow more flexible resources and staffing assignments, while also identifying key issues or sports that warrant increased attention.
The new structure maximizes opportunities for greater efficiency and effectiveness and will allow the staff to more easily “surge” to tackle complex cases or when there is a threat of compromise to an investigation.
“These enforcement structure changes bring us closer to our enforcement vision of a model investigative agency that strives for fairness and accountability while upholding integrity,” said President Mark Emmert. “They ensure our enforcement resources are dedicated to the critical issues impacting investigations while providing opportunities for great efficiencies.”
The changes come following a six-month evaluation by enforcement staff leadership and two process consultants. The extensive review was coupled with outreach to NCAA membership and other key constituents to gather feedback and suggestions regarding the process and priorities.
“The new structure allows us to be focused on the priorities of our members. We will now be able to maximize our current resources in a more timely and thorough manner,” Roe Lach said. “We need to focus more staff on critical issues in a concentrated way.”
Citing an experienced enforcement staff, Roe Lach said it was important for the group to evolve as the investigative environment changes and capitalize on its strengths. She also noted that when appropriate, the staff is better positioned to assign multiple people to a case on a temporary or permanent basis.
“The NCAA has regularly assessed and revised its enforcement function to ensure we are fulfilling our mission to ensure integrity and fair play,” Roe Lach said. “This is a different model than what most of us are used to, but given the breadth of experiences and perspectives on staff, it make sense to pool resources when necessary.”
Throughout the review and membership feedback process, it became clear the cultivation of sources and development of actionable information needed to be a priority. This led to the formation of the development staff, allowing information cultivation to be on the same level of focus as the investigation and processing of cases.
The information development staff will focus on strategically building knowledge, meaningful contacts and actionable leads to better inform investigations. There will be several key areas of emphasis including agents, football, men’s and women’s basketball as well as sports wagering.
Rachel Newman Baker, who previously served as the director of agents, gambling and amateurism activities, has been promoted to managing director of development and will share oversight responsibility for the investigation function.
“As investigators, we recognize some issues and key sports warrant increased attention and scrutiny,” Newman Baker said. “This is also something we have heard loud and clear from our members.”
Aiming to capitalize on the work done thus far in football as well as the previous success of the Basketball Focus Group and Agents, Gambling and Amateurism groups, these functions now will be housed together, said Newman Baker.
“Going forward, we will be able to learn from our successes from these two groups and identify areas that need to be better addressed,” she added
Tom Hosty, formerly a director of enforcement, is now a managing director and will oversee the department’s processing function while sharing oversight of investigations with Newman Baker.
“The enforcement department processes approximately 25 major cases each year, as well as basketball event certification requests and more than 4,000 secondary cases,” Hosty said. “We are well-equipped in this new structure to streamline the processing of these cases without compromising the fairness and thoroughness the member-created procedures provide.”
The enforcement staff is also undertaking a new “information hub” initiative that will centralize the department’s management of all case information. This hub will provide critical support for the information development, investigations and processing functions and will include an ongoing evaluation of potential technology needs, monitoring and maintaining information, data analysis and research, travel support as well as other vital operations.
None of these changes affect current NCAA rules regarding enforcement procedures. Any changes to procedures would require membership rule changes.