Athletics Compliance Office > Coaches & Staff > NCAA Rules Violations
Enforcement Working Group Summary
The NCAA Presidential Enforcement Working Group was charged in 2011-12 with analyzing the current NCAA violation process and penalty structures. As a result of a lengthy study focusing on member institution feedback, the working group proposed a reporting and penalty structure based on the principles of fairness, accountability and integrity. The recommendations were adopted by the NCAA Board of Directors in October of 2012 and will be effective August 1, 2013. Key areas of the new enforcement legislation include:
- The Violation Structure. The current two-tiered approach to secondary and major violations has been replaced by a recommended structure recognizing and categorizing varying levels of infractions, from most severe breaches of conduct to incidental infractions. The new structure includes Level I - Level IV violations.
- The Process. The Committee on Infractions has grown in members (to 24) and varying degrees of recent experience in college athletics. Changes made to the committee structure will allow cases to be heard more quickly and efficiently and the added diverse composition of the committee will ensure that the penalties imposed make sense to college athletics. Institutions are also being offered a more transparent process with greater control over the means by which a case is heard and resolved.
- The Penalty Structure. Stronger penalties are assigned to deter future misconduct in cases where institutional staff members may have previously thought that the benefit provided by breaking a rule outweighed the infraction imposed. The group introduced a set range of core "standard" penalties to be prescribed by the Committee on Infractions (along with additional penalties, when appropriate). Standard penalties can be adjusted for aggravating and/or mitigating factors.
- Head Coach Accountability. Head coaches are responsible for promoting an atmosphere of compliance in their programs and monitoring the behavior of their staffs. Head coaches are subject to suspension in Level I, Level II and possibly Level III infraction cases.
NCAA Violation Structure
Level I - Severe. A severe breach of conduct is one or more bylaw violations that seriously undermine or threaten the integrity of the NCAA, including any violation that provides or is intended to provide a substantial or extensive recruiting, competitive or other advantage, or a substantial or extensive impermissible benefit.
Violations that may constitute a severe breach of conduct include:
- Lack of institutional control
- Academic fraud
- Failure to cooperate in an NCAA investigation
- Individual unethical or dishonest conduct, regardless of whether underlying violations are Level I
- Head coach responsibility violation resulting from a Level I violation within the program
- Benefit provided intended to secure, or which resulted in, enrollment of a PSA
- 3rd party involvement in recruitment where officials knew or should have known of involvement
- Intentional violations or reckless indifference to NCAA bylaws
- Collective Level II and/or Level III violations
Level II - Significant. A significant breach of conduct is one or more bylaw violations that provide or are intended to provide more than a minimal but less than a substantial or extensive recruiting, competitive or other advantage; includes more than a minimal but less than a substantial or extensive impermissible benefit; or involves conduct that may compromise the integrity of the NCAA.
Violations that may constitute a significant breach of conduct include:
- Violations of NCAA rules that do not rise to Level I but are more serious than Level III
- Failure to monitor (initially presumed as Level II but can raise to Level I if substantial or egregious)
- Systemic violations that don't amount to a lack of institutional control
- Multiple recruiting, financial aid or eligibility violations that do not amount to a lack of institutional control
- Head coach responsibility violation resulting from a Level II violation within the program
- Collective Level III violations
Level III - Breach of Conduct. Level III violations are isolated or limited in nature; provide no more than a minimal recruiting, competitive or other advantage; and provide no more than a minimal impermissible benefit.
Violations that may constitute a breach of conduct include:
- Inadvertent violations of NCAA rules that are isolated or limited in nature
- Extra-benefit, financial aid, academic eligibility and recruiting violations, provided they do not create more than minimal advantages
Level IV - Incidental. Level IV violations include minor infractions that may be technical in nature and do not constitute Level III infractions. These violations generally will not impact eligibility, but, multiple Level IV infractions could constitute a Level III violation.
Violations that may constitute incidental infractions include:
- Camp brochures
- Recruiting correspondence related to size, paper limitations
- Institutional promotional activities
- Failure to place a PSA on the IRL prior to an official visit
- Other minor, paperwork and technical violations
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