2020 Quarter 3 Case Summaries

by | Oct 9, 2020

It’s All Virtual

2020’s most used terms have to include Zoom, Microsoft Teams, GoTo Meeting, Cisco Webex, Slack and others.  We’ve used Zoom for virtual hearings with the NCAA during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Here are some advantages and disadvantages from our virtual experience during NCAA Committee on Infractions hearings.

Advantages

  1. Budget. The most obvious advantage is decreased cost in travel and lodging for the association and member institutions. We expect even when COVID-19 becomes well-managed across the US, virtual hearings and interviews will remain an option for budgetary reasons for many years to come.
  2. Notes. The ability to have notes organized on your screen allows for athletic directors, compliance officers, chancellors, presidents, etc. to hit all important areas of their arguments while still holding virtual eye contact with the panel.
  3. Virtual Preparation. Mock hearings were much easier to schedule considering everyone would be able to login to their virtual platform from the comfort of their own home.

Disadvantages

  1. Personal Interaction. We made every attempt possible to ensure that our video feed was crisp and clear, that we were able to maintain eye contact, and that our points were resonating by doing numerous internal mock hearings. Nevertheless, the ability to shake hands when you enter a room and personally thank the panel for their time is lost and hard to replicate virtually.
  2. Reading the Room. It can be very difficult to read body language and facial expressions on a screen with twenty or more people on it. We used our largest TV to see all members involved to get a good feel for the progress of the hearing.
  3. Internet Glitches. Feedback interruption and frozen screens are nearly inevitable. A good way to be sure you are heard is to use the phone as audio instead of the computer given the computer audio relies on internet.

 

Most clients turn to us for representation during NCAA inquires, compliance education, head coach control reviews, contract negotiation and institutional control assessments.  Please contact us for any inquires at jlach@cchalaw.com

 

NEGOTATED RESOLUTION

Texas A&M University, College Station

July 2, 2020

Key Takeaways

  • Though the enforcement staff considered alleging a failure to monitor, it ultimately determined the institution had adequate educational and oversight systems in place to monitor the coaching staff’s off-campus recruiting and the team’s countable athletically-related activity.
  • The Committee accepted the CARA violations as less-serious Level III infractions; however, the head coach’s failure to monitor his staff related to CARA led to a Level II head-coach control finding.

Level: Level II-Mitigated for Institution, Level II-Standard for Head Coach, and Level II-Mitigated for Assistant Coach

Facts: This case involved the head football coach and assistant football coach at Texas A&M, College Station.  The violations involved impermissible recruiting activity, impermissible CARA and failure to satisfy responsibilities of a head coach.

The NCAA enforcement staff received information in August of 2018 of potential CARA violations in the men’s football program.  As the investigation was coming to an end, the head football coach and assistant football coach had impermissible off-campus contact with a prospect at his high school in January 2019.  The head coach and assistant coach met with the prospect in his high school coach’s office for 15 to 20 minutes discussing his recruitment.

CARA violations occurred between January 1 and July 31 of 2018.  The violations were unintentional.  Specifically, during seven of the 21 permissible weeks of the spring and summer, one or more position groups participated in CARA for periods ranging from 13 minutes to more than two hours resulting in approximately seven hours of impermissible CARA. During the other 14 weeks, CARA hours never exceeded the daily limit.

The head coach was presumed responsible for both CARA violations and the impermissible recruiting activity.  He did not demonstrate that he promoted an atmosphere of compliance due to his personal involvement in the recruiting violation and failed to ensure that member of his football staff were not requiring student-athletes to participate in CARA activities.

Violations Found

The Division I Committee on Infractions cited violations in the following areas:

  1. NCAA Division I Manual Bylaw 13.1.1.1 (2018-19) (Level II)
  1. NCAA Division I Manual Bylaws 17.1.7.1, 17.1.7.2-(b), 17.1.7.2.1.5.2 and 17.10.6.1.1-(b) (2017-18) (Level III)
  1. NCAA Division I Manual Bylaw 11.1.1.1 (2017-18 and 2018-19) (Level II)

Penalties

  • Core for Institution
    • 1 year of probation starting July 2, 2020
    • $5,000 fine
    • Reduction in official paid visits by one during 19-20 academic year
      • Reduce unofficial visits for football by 17 days
      • Off campus recruiting ban for entire football staff for November 2019
      • 7 day off-campus recruiting ban for entire football coaching staff for the 2020 spring off-campus recruiting period
      • 10 day off-campus recruiting ban for the 2020 fall off-campus recruiting period
    • Core for Head Coach
      • 6 month show cause order starting July 2, 2020
      • No phone calls for days in nine days in January 2020
      • Reduction in off-campus recruiting contact days by 3 for December 2019 – January 2020 contact period
      • Banned from all off-campus recruiting activities for entire fall 2020 contact period
      • Additional 1-on-1 educational rules sessions
      • Public statement
    • Core for Assistant Coach
      • 6 month show cause order starting July 2, 2020
      • No phone calls for 9 days in January 2020
      • Reduction in off-campus recruiting contact days by 3 for December 2019 – January 2020 contact period
      • Banned from all off-campus recruiting activities for entire fall 2020 contact period
      • Additional 1-on-1 educational rules sessions

 

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