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.
Most major violation cases end up before the Committee on Infractions, a group drawn from the membership or independent sources. Most members have a legal background. A pre-hearing conference is conducted to help both sides prepare and to ensure that no new information is introduced during the actual hearing.
Introductions: The committee chair calls the meeting to order and all individuals participating in the hearing are introduced on the record.
Opening statements: The institution, any involved individuals and a representative from the NCAA enforcement staff are each provided an opportunity to make a brief opening statement (usually 5-10 minutes) focused on the infractions case and underlying violations.
Review of allegations: For each allegation, the enforcement staff presents a general description of the allegation and the information it believes supports a finding that violations occurred.
Documents with all pertinent information from the investigation are prepared and submitted to committee members and everyone else involved in the case at least two weeks before the hearing. The Division I Committee on Infractions meets six times annually.
At hearings, institutions are usually represented by the president or chancellor, faculty athletics representative, athletics director, and the current or former head coach of the involved sport or sports. The institution’s legal counsel and rules-compliance officials also attend. Student-athletes who face eligibility consequences also may be present, along with any other parties tied to the potential violations.
The enforcement staff is represented by three people: the primary investigator on the case, the director who oversaw the investigation and the vice president of enforcement.
The hearing is run by the chair of the committee, currently Conference-USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky.
Similar to a court proceeding, all involved parties, including the institution and the enforcement staff, give opening statements. Both the enforcement staff and the institution and other involved parties make presentations on each individual allegation. Committee members ask questions. After all allegations are discussed, each party offers closing statements.
The committee’s main job is to reach the correct decision, so the hearing takes as much or as little time as is necessary. The committee wants to be sure that when the hearing is complete, everyone in the room has had the opportunity to say everything they need to say.
The committee deliberates in private to determine its findings and what penalties should be assessed. The committee’s report, prepared with the assistance of NCAA staff separate from enforcement, is released eight to 12 weeks after a hearing.
These processes are similar to those found in Divisions II and III.Last Updated: Mar 29, 2012