Compare and contrast – NCAA Allegations

Written July 15th, 2011 by Eric

UPDATE- We’ve incorporated all of the allegations into a table for those who prefer getting their information that way. Check it out here, or under the Media Table at the top right of the site.

UPDATE 2- Georgia Tech’s case has been added to the article for completeness. (You need to click “read more” before the link will work properly)

UPDATE 3- This article has been reposted with updates.

USC fans telling their favorite organization what to do

This is the article you have all been waiting for.  Rather than just looking at all of the allegations leveled at Ohio State like I did a couple weeks ago, I now list every single allegation leveled by the NCAA at several different schools.

This article is a public service for anyone who is interested in the details of the allegations for a number of different schools including: Southern California, North Carolina, Tennessee, Boise State and Ohio State.  Each table of allegations is a faithful representation of the allegation posed against the institution along with the response provided by the University for each.  I hope that everyone who reads this will find it an informative and useful resource for discussing the NCAA, amateurism and the recent string of investigations that have swept the nation.

This is not a short article, so you may want to take it in slowly and in pieces. Reading it in one sitting may cause any number of complications that we hold no responsibility for including, but not limited to; excessive optimism, finger pointing, extreme laughter and glassy-eye dazes.

I also point out that what is included in each table is entirely factual information based off the documents provided by either the NCAA or the university in question.  So too with the “results” of the investigation at the end of the discussion for each school.  The discussions themselves are entirely a matter of writer’s opinion and should be taken as such.

For an in depth look at each allegation and the violations therein,

The violations refer to the particular code in the NCAA bylaw handbook . This isn’t the current handbook, but the one for 2009-2010. Despite that, the majority of the pertinent rules for this article should remain unchanged.

The responses say “Agreed” if the university agrees to the allegation in full, “Denied” if the university finds no substantial evidence to support the allegation, “Partially Agreed” if some parts of the Allegation are confirmed by the institution, and “Unknown” if we don’t have a copy of the Response to Allegations.

When the response is “Partially Agreed”, the allegations that the university has agreed to will be listed.  First will be the appropriate violation, followed by all of the allegations appropriate to that violation.  If a “p” follows any particular allegation listing, that emphasizes that only a part of that particular allegation was agreed to.

Southern California

The University of Southern California’s Notice of Allegations (NOA) was never released to the public – they are a private institution and are not required to do so.  Obviously it would be nice to have the original NCAA document, which we do have for all of the other schools present in this article.  However, the USC response to the Allegations, which happens to be quite thorough, does detail most of the allegations posted against the University.

A big hat tip goes out to Paragon SC at the USC blog Conquest Chronicles for helping me get the facts completely straight here.  That blog has an excellent rundown of articles and pdf files regarding the investigation into SC and is well worth a look (“USC vs. the NCAA” – left sidebar, halfway to the bottom).  Paragon SC has also agreed to sit down with us for an upcoming podcast, so stay tuned for that!

USC Allegation Violations Response
1 Reggie Bush (and family) recieved impermissible benefits from New Era Sports and Entertainment.
Assistant Coach Todd McNair commited ethics violation for having known or having the ability to know about Bush’s benefits.
10.1 (d), 12.01.1, 12.1.1, 12.1.2 (a), 12.3.1, 12.3.1.2, and 30.3.5 Agreed (12.3.1.2) (1 (a)(6), 1 (a)(7)p, 1 (a)(9)p)
2 Reggie Bush (and family) received impermissible benefits from Sports Link agents. 12.3.1.2, 16.02.3, 16.11.2.1 Partially agreed (12.3.1.2) (2 (b)(1)p)
3 Todd McNair provided (a) misleading and (b) false information to the NCAA 10.1-(d) Denied
4 USC exceed the maximum number of allowed football coaches. 11.7.2 and 11.7.4 Self reported (Agreed) – Secondary
5 A representative of USC and local restaurant owner made impermissible off-campus recruiting contacts with a number of prospective student athletes. 13.01.2, 13.01.4 and 13.6.7.1 Self reported (Agreed) – Secondary*
6 OJ Mayo received extra benefits from two representatives of the university who were also affiliated with a sports agency. 12.3.1.2, 13.01.3, 13.01.4, 13.2.1, 13.2.1-(b), 13.2.1-(e), 16.01.1, 16.02.3 and 16.11.1.1 Partially agree (6 b(1), 6 b(2), 6 b(4), 6 b(5), 6 b(6), 6 b(9)p, 6 b(10), 6 b(12), 6 b(14))
7 Not released in USC’s response Unknown Unknown
8 Not released in USC’s response Unknown Unknown
9 Women’s Tennis Player made 123 unauthorized calls to family members overseas at a value of $7,535 using an athletic department telephone. 16.11.2.1 and 16.11.2.2.2 Self Reported (Agreed) – Secondary (no competitive advantage)**
10 Institution exhibited a Failure to Monitor and Lack of Institutional Control 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.8.1 and 6.01.1 Denied (except for failure to monitor with regard to Violation 9)

* The comments were viewed as inadvertent, and not intended to be of a recruiting nature, nor did the prospects view the comments as an attempt to recruit them.

** The University viewed this as a secondary violation, but it is believed that the NCAA recorded this as a major violation.

Scope: Three sports teams (Football, Men’s Basketball, Women’s Tennis).

Ol' Cut and Run Pete Carroll

I give USC a lot of credit after reading their response on the whole.  While it clocks in at a ridiculous 169 pages, it is chocked full of delicious reading material – particularly if you’re not a huge fan of the NCAA.

For the most part, USC makes a fantastic case regarding the issues that it denied wrong doing.  In the vast majority of those denied allegations, the NCAA clearly had a weak case – very nearly on the level of what SI had on Ohio State.  USC drives the point home that the NCAA has failed to meet their own requirements for evidence, referencing previous NCAA investigations into other programs to prove their point.

I believe that USC got hammered beyond what they deserved.  Clearly, though, I’m giving USC the benefit of the doubt and saying that the issues they denied were done so well enough to warrant dismissal of those charges.  Ultimately, while I agree that a “failure to monitor” charge might be valid for the cases that they agreed to, the Lack of Institutional Control was certainly excessive.

But, obviously, my opinion is meaningless here.

One thing that is definitely worth impressing upon the reader is that USC closely worked with the NCAA! While the mainstream media has been trying hard to push the “USC fought the NCAA” meme, it’s absolutely not true.  USC’s former student athletes, and the agents and representatives therein, may not have worked with the NCAA, but the University absolutely did.  That is even expressed (apparently) in the Notice of Allegations, where the NCAA thanked USC for their help and support.

One last point – making a comparison between Ohio State and USC might be completely moot.  The violations are substantially different.

  1. USC’s violations occurred in multiple programs over the course of several years while Ohio State had only one and with a limited timeframe.
  2. Both Reggie Bush’s family*** and OJ Mayo took a much larger sum of money, though Ohio State had a greater number of players breaking the rules.
  3. Most of the players breaking rules at Ohio State were (and are) still at Ohio State to take punishment for their actions, while in USC’s case, the players had already left.
  4. Finally, we know that Jim Tressel broke bylaw 10.1, while the evidence for McNair was not nearly strong enough to suggest that he really did violate bylaw 10.1.

As Buckeye fans, if you are hoping for leniency solely because Ohio State self-reported and worked with the NCAA, you could be in for a shock.

*** Officially, the vast majority of the benefits provided in the Reggie Bush part of the scandal were officially given to his parents and family.

Result:

  • 4 years probation
  • Vacate 14 football wins from 2004-2005
  • Eliminate any connection with Reggie Bush from the program
  • Loss of 30 scholarships over 3 years
  • 2 year Football postseason play ban (2010, 2011)
  • 1 year (self imposed) Basketball postseason ban (2010)
  • Basketball scholarship reduction (self imposed)

North Carolina

North Carolina’s Notice of Allegations is available on the web, but their response has yet to be finalized and will be submitted at a later date.  For now, we will simply list the allegations and appropriate violations.  Hopefully we will be able to return and post UNC’s responses, but that will depend on if their response is released to the public.

The actual Allegations start on page 17 of the provided pdf.

UNC Allegation Violations Response
1 Academic fraud between the academic support center and football student athlete 10.1, 10.1-(b) and 14.11.1 Unknown
2 An academic support center tutor provided impermissible extra benefits to the tune of $3,500 to football student athletes. 16.11.2 Unknown
3 The academic support center tutor by knowingly providing improper benefits, as well as refusing to furnish information relevant to an NCAA investigation. 10.1, 10.1-(a), 10.1-(c) and 19.01.3 Unknown
4 Seven football student athletes received a combined $27,097.38 in impermissible benefits from individuals, some who trigger NCAA agent legislation. 12.1.2.1.6 and 12.3.1.2 Unknown
5 A football student athlete provided false and misleading information to the NCAA 10.1 and 10.1-(d) Unknown
6 Assistant Football Coach John Blake partnered with several agents to represent individuals in the marketing of their athletic abilities. Specifically, Blake was hired to influence Student Athletes to hire a particular agent. 11.1.4 Unknown
7 John Blake failed to report $31,000 in athletically related income to the NCAA, income that was provided by one of the agencies mentioned in Allegation 6. 11.2.2 Unknown
8 John Blake refused to furnish information relevant to an NCAA investigation, and provided false and misleading information. 10.1, 10.1-(a), 10.1-(d) and 19.01.3 Unknown
9 North Carolina failed to monitor the conduct and administration of their football program 2.8.1 Unknown

Scope: One Sport (Football)

Butch Davis during a press conference into the investigation

UNC was another case (along with Ohio State) where the Media expected a Lack of Institutional Control charge, but none was forthcoming.  However, UNC did pick up the almost-as-bad charge of Failure to Monitor for the violations of their football program.

I believe this is probably a fair charge.  Given the quantity of violations committed by the football program, and given the fact that one of their Assistant Coaches was in the back pocket of a professional sports agency, it seems the UNC Athletic Department missed the boat.

That said, considering the charge exists solely for one sports team, I highly doubt the institution lacks control.  It’s more likely that certain details escaped their notice due to clever concealment by a coach and sneaky sports agency.

Also worth noting is that UNC did cooperate fully with the NCAA during the investigation.

Result: Unknown at this time; North Carolina has not released its response to the allegations, nor has the NCAA leveled any penalties as of yet.

Tennessee

The University of Tennessee has already met with their Committee on Infractions, meaning that they are getting closer to a resolution of the issue at hand.  While Tennessee’s Notice of Allegations is available on the internet, the response, which was due on May 21st, does not appear to be.  Therefore, we have no idea how Tennessee responded to their violations.

That doesn’t mean we can list their allegations like everyone else!

UT Allegation Violations Response
1 In a two year period, Head Basketball Coach Bruce Pearl, associate head basketball coach Tony Jones, and assistant men’s basketball coach Steve Forbes placed 96 impermissible telephone recruiting calls. 13.1.3.1, 13.1.3.1.3 and 13.1.3.1.7 Unknown
2 Bruce Pearl, Tony Jones and Steve Forbes did something that was completely redacted by the University of Tennessee. Redacted Unknown
3 Bruce Pearl and Tony Jones made an impermissible in-person, off-campus contact with a prospective student athlete. 13.1.1.1 Unknown
4 Bruce Pearl acted contrary to the principles of ethical conduct by knowingly engaging in recruiting violations, provided false and misleading information to NCAA investigators, and attempted to influence others to furnish false and misleading information. 10.1-(c), 10.1-(d), 19.01.2, 19.01.3 and 32.1.4 Unknown
5 Steve Forbes failed to provide full and complete information and failed to protect the integrity of the investigation. 10.01.1, 11.1.1, 19.01.3 and 32.1.4 Unknown
6 Assistant men’s basketball coach Jason Shay failed to provide full and completely information and failed to protect the integrity of the investigation. 10.01.1, 11.1.1, 19.01.3 and 32.1.4 Unknown
7 Tony Jones violated the principles of honesty when he failed to provide full and complete information regarding his involvement in and knowledge of violations. 10.01.1, 11.1.1 and 19.01.3 Unknown
8 Bruce Pearl failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance and failed to monitor the activities of all of his assistant coaches. 11.1.2.1 Unknown
9 During the 2009-2010 academic year, former members of the football coaching staff (names redacted) engaged in impermissible recruiting activities with prospective student-athletes. 11.5.1, 11.7.1.1.1.1, [redacted], 13.02.7, 13.02.14-(c), [redacted], 13.1.2.1, 13.1.2.1.1, 13.1.3.4.1, 13.1.3.5.1, 13.1.6.2, 13.11.1, 13.11.1.1 and [redacted]. Unknown
10 Head Football Coach Lane Kiffin failed to promote an atmosphere for compliance within the football program and failed to monitor the activities of several assistant football coaches and an athletics administrator. 11.1.2.1 Unknown
11 The institution failed to monitor the men’s basketball coaching staff telephone contacts with prospective student-athletes. 2.8.1 Unknown
12 Jason Shay did something that was heavily redacted. Redacted Unknown

Scope: Two sports (Football, Basketball)

Bruce Pearl

I’m actually fairly impressed that Tennessee was able to avoid the Lack of Institutional Control.  Failure to Monitor on two separate sports teams, the entire basketball coaching staff acting contrary to the principles of ethical conduct and both Pearl and Kiffin failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance?  It almost seems like a no-brainer.

It’s possible that the complete lack of impermissible benefits charges was (as far as we can tell considering the horrific redactions) what ultimately saved Tennessee in that regard.  It could also be that the NCAA thinks that Tennessee has an acceptable compliance department that just missed the boat on a few things (or, more specifically, that Pearl, Kiffin and company did a good job of concealing their activities).  I doubt we’ll ever know for sure, considering how fickle the NCAA tends to be in regards to penalties and violations.

I was surprised how much redacting Tennessee had done compared to Ohio State and UNC (names) and USC (replacing names with non-descriptive identifiers) and Boise State (both, depending on the document you look at).  A Tennessee staffer must have handed a black sharpie to their 6 year old and let them go to town.  Given what the Dispatch put together a couple of years ago, I suppose no-one should be surprised by Tennessee’s strong-arming method of redaction.

The results below are not the final say against Tennessee, as we still have to wait to hear the final response from the NCAA after the committee of infractions. That usually requires one to two months after the hearing.

Result:

Boise State

The Broncos are the surprise in the bunch, if only because the media reports regarding their allegations and penalties have been few and far between. BSU’s list of allegations is actually quite impressive overall, as you will see shortly.

Like Tennessee, Boise State has already faced the NCAA Committee on Infractions and therefore has filed their response to the allegations.  Unfortunately, again, the Boise State response is not available on the net – despite the fact that I know for certain that it was released to the media.  Like before, expect this list of responses to change if and when we see a copy of the BSU response.

BSU Allegation Violations Response
1 Back in 2005, a track and field athlete received impermissible financial aid, housing, meals and clothing, and participated in practices as a nonqualifier. 13.2.1, 13.2.1.1-(b), 13.2.1.1-(h), 14.3.1, 14.3.2.1.1, 15.01.5 and 16.11.2.1 Unknown
2 From 2005-2009 assistant coaches and staff members of the football program arranged for summer housing and transportation for 63 prospective student-athletes. 13.2.1, 13.2.1.1-(h) and 13.5.1 Unknown
3 From 2005-2009, prospective student athletes of track and field and tennis (men’s and women’s for both) received impermissible housing, transportation and meals on arrival to Boise for their initial enrollment. 13.2.1, 13.2.1.1-(h), 13.5.1, 13.5.4 and 16.11.2.1 Unknown
4 A prospective student athlete received impermissible transportation, meals, housing, entertainment and travel expenses from a student athlete and the assistant coach for men’s and women’s cross country and track and field. 13.2.1, 13.2.1.1-(h), 13.5.1 and 13.7.2.1 Unknown
5 The assistant coach named in Allegation 4 acted contrary to the principles of ethical conduct based on his involvement in Allegation 4, as well as by providing false or misleading information on three separate occasions. 10.01.1, 10.1, 10.1-(c) and 10.1-(d) Unknown
6 The institution permitted a women’s tennis student-athlete to practice and participate in competition beyond her fourth eligible season. 14.2, 14.2.3.2.1 and 16.8.1.2 Unknown
7 The Head women’s tennis coach, an assistant women’s tennis coach, a volunteer assistant women’s tennis coach and two representatives of the institution’s interests provided impermissible benefits to a prospective student-athlete. 13.2.1, 13.2.1.1-(b), 13.2.1.1-(e), 13.2.1.1-(h), 13.5.1, 13.7.2.1, 13.11.1 and 16.11.2.1 Unknown
8 The head women’s tennis coach, and the assistant women’s tennis coach conducted impermissible practice sessions with a prospective student-athlete, and allowed her to participate in athletics before becoming a degree seeking student of the institution. 13.2.1, 13.11.1, 14.02.7, 14.1.7, 14.1.8.1, 14.1.8.2 and 14.2.2.1 Unknown
9 The head women’s tennis coach acted contrary to the principles of ethical conduct by engaging in violations of NCAA legislation, by providing false and misleading information, and by influencing others to provide false and misleading information. 10.01.1, 10.1, 10.1-(c), 10.1-(d), 19.01.3 and 32.1.4 Unknown
10 The assistant women’s tennis coach acted contrary to the principles of ethical conduct by engaging in violations of NCAA legislation, and by providing false and misleading information. 10.01.1, 10.1, 10.1-(c) and 10.1-(d) Unknown
11 The volunteer women’s tennis assistant coach acted contrary to the principles of ethical conduct by providing false and misleading evidence to investigators, and influenced another to provide false and misleading information. 10.01.1, 10.1, 10.1-(d), 19.01.3 and 32.1.4 Unknown
12 The women’s tennis head coach failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance, and failed to monitor the assistant women’s tennis coach and volunteer assistant coach. 11.1.2.1 Unknown
13 The Men’s Tennis head coach arranged for a prospective student athlete to reside with a family in Boise upon his initial arrival. The individual paid rent to the family during his stay.* 13.2.1 and 13.2.1.1-(h) Unknown
14 A prospective student athlete received impermissible benefits and participated in a practice session with a volunteer assistant tennis coach, observed by the head men’s tennis coach. 13.2.1, 13.2.1.1-(h) and 13.5.1 Unknown
15 A tennis nonqualifier was provided impermissible benefits (including use of tennis-racquet restringer) and participated in practice activities. 14.3.2.1, 14.3.2.2, 16.11.2.1 and 16.11.2.3-(a) Unknown
16 The head coach and the assistant coach for men’s and women’s track and field assisted in the arrangement in impermissible benefits for four prospective student-athletes. 13.2.1, 13.2.1.1-(h) and 13.5.1 Unknown
17 The head coach and the assistant coach for men’s and women’s track and field conducted impermissible practice sessions with prospective student-athletes and provided impermissible benefits. 13.2.1, 13.5.1 and 13.11.1 Unknown
18 A prospective student-athlete received impermissible benefits from another student-athlete. 13.2.1, 13.2.1.1-(e), 13.2.1.1-(f), 13.2.1.1-(h), 13.5.4 and 16.11.2.1 Unknown
19 A prospective student-athlete received impermissible benefits from an assistant cross country and track and field coach and several other student athletes, and engaged in impermissible practice activities. 13.2.1, 13.2.1.1-(f), 13.2.1.1-(h), 13.5.1 and 13.11.1 Unknown
20 The Institution lacked control in critical areas of NCAA compliance. 22.1.1, 2.8.1 and 6.01 Unknown
21 A women’s tennis student athlete was permitted to travel and received actual and necessary travel expenses when she was not eligible to do so. 16.8.1.2 Unknown
22 A mother of a women’s tennis student-athlete provided the women’s tennis student-athletes with gift bags or small gift items. 16.02.3 and 16.11.2.1 Unknown

* This last statement is partially redacted, so take it with a grain of salt.  However, the statement does best fit based on the additional information provided.

Scope: Five sports (Men’s and Women’s Track and Field, Men’s and Women’s Tennis, Football)

Boise State Head Football Coach Chris Peterson

This is quite an incredible list of violations.  A full 22 allegations against the Boise State athletic department account for as many as three other schools on this list combined.  It’s not surprising that Boise State got the dreaded “lack of institutional control” charge at the end.  It spanned four sports teams and more than 5 years of misdeeds.

The interesting part is that the majority of the violations occurred in “non-profit-earning” sports.  Usually you see the vast majority of major violations occurring to the programs that have a lot riding on their success, or where there is a lot of prestige to gain or lose.  It’s refreshing to see another group of athletes and coaches go rogue.

You may have noticed that I was very kind to USC during the course of this article, but a bit harsher to the other three.  This is primarily due to two factors.

  1. We have USC’s response to their allegations, and therefore we can have a close look at their side of the story.  USC made a compelling argument regarding their case, and I’m disappointed I didn’t get a chance to see what the other schools’ athletic departments had.
  2. The USC and Ohio State stories were way overblown by the media, and received a disproportionate number of hours rehashing the story – particularly the parts that were wrong.  Tennessee, Boise State and UNC have been relatively less discussed on a national scale.

Result:
Boise State has self-imposed a large number of penalties on all five of their programs, those penalties include:

  • Public Censure and reprimand.
  • Three years of probation with continued improvements in rules education and compliance monitoring.
  • A laundry list of other penalties including recruiting limits, practice limits and scholarship limits depending on the sport.

Ohio State

Last but not least, even though we’ve already seen it a hundred times before, let’s look at the allegations facing Ohio State.  Keep in mind, the NCAA could still submit a second NoA if Ohio State finds and self reports more issues, or if they have discovered anything additional from their investigations.

Also, like USC, we have access to the full range of information Ohio State used to respond to the NCAA.  That gives us an opportunity to discuss our thoughts regarding what OSU has said.

OSU Allegation Violations Response
1 6 current and 1 former Student Athletes traded gear and memorabilia for cash and discounts on tattoos to a tattoo parlor called Fine Line Ink. Additionally, Jim Tressel knew or should have known that at least 2 student-athletes received these impermissible benefits, and failed to withhold them from competition while ineligible. 12.1.2.1.6, 14.11.1, 16.1.4 and 16.11.1.6 Self Reported (Agreed).  In fact Ohio State added a 7th current SA to the list (one of those 7, Pryor, has since forgone his last year of eligibility).
2 Jim Tressel failed to deport himself with honesty and integrity when he failed to report information concerning violations of NCAA legislation. Additionally, he withheld information for 9 months regarding the violations in Allegation 1, and falsely attested that he had reported all NCAA violations when he signed the certification of compliance form. 10.1 Self Reported (Agreed).

Scope: One Sport (Football)

Tressel and Pryor at the Ohio State spring football game.

Of course, if ESPN had their way the scope would extend all the way to the fanbase, the students, the dirt the university sits on, and the water that flows through the Olentangy.

It’s worth noting that the NCAA filed an updated Notice of Allegations on July 8th to reflect additional findings during further investigation into the program.  That investigation was the result of the Sports Illustrated article and the reported findings by ESPN.  The updated notice clearly indicated that the NCAA found only one point of merit in those reports, the inclusion of a 7th current player to Allegation 1.  That still may change, but for the time things seem to be winding down in this investigation.

It’s surprising in simply looking at the number of violations alleged by the NCAA at this point that anyone at all was asking for the failure to monitor charge, let alone the lack of institutional control.  The primary basis for that claim was the fact that Tressel lied, and committed the unforgivable “10.1” violation.

Amusingly, in every other case cited above where a 10.1 violation was handed down, the individual in question also violated other NCAA bylaws, or other parts of the 10.1 bylaw itself.  The only exception to this is Todd McNair of USC who picked up the single violation of 10.1-(d) in Allegation 3, though he also picked up additional violations in Allegation 1.  Tressel himself picked up violations in both of Ohio State’s allegations.

It’s also worth noting that the violations were limited to a 2 year span (2008-2010) and to only one sports team at the university.  The only other program that can claim such a limited time frame, and such a limited scope, is North Carolina which clearly committed a larger set of NCAA sins – assuming they don’t successfully appeal any of them.

I’m not going to end this with a comment about what I think the NCAA is going to do.  First off, that would be fool-hardy, as even the luckiest can’t successfully predict what is going on in the NCAA’s head.  Second, there’s always still the possibility of more to come – at least until the committee on infractions meet.

Result:

  • The eventual forced resignation turned retirement of successful Head Football coach Jim Tressel
  • A 5 game suspension for the players involved in Allegation 1
  • Vacating all wins from the 2010-2011 football season (including the Sugar Bowl) (self-imposed)
  • 2 years probation (self-imposed)

I do want to finish this article off with a discussion of Ohio State’s self-imposed penalties.  Interestingly, Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated believes that these penalties are entirely reasonable for the crimes though many in the media, and many fans of other teams, think otherwise.

In fact, I’ve even heard some Buckeye fans complaining that we should have hit ourselves harder; maybe even adding some scholarship reductions or a post-season ban.  There is one major flaw with that plan, however.

The University has spent an incredible amount of time and energy focusing all of the violations on Tressel himself.  The entire narrative has been that of Tressel being a loose cannon and putting an unsuspecting University in the cross-hairs of an NCAA investigation.  Thus far, that strategy has worked.

If the University decided to self-impose penalties on the institution – such as a post-season ban or scholarship reductions – they would, in fact, be suggesting that the institution itself is at fault.  That goes directly against the narrative they’ve tried so hard to set up.

Another big issue involved with imposing a more strict set of penalties is that those penalties take effect immediately.  Ohio State does not want to take a post season ban, particularly this year, if they absolutely don’t have to.  By not self-imposing a ban, Ohio State in effect allows their football team to play the 2011 postseason.  This occurs simply because the NCAA’s penalties don’t take effect until after the appeals are complete, which by this point would almost certainly occur after the 2011-2012 football season.

If you think the penalties take effect the moment the NCAA hands them out, please see the USC investigation case.

Homerism aside, I think Ohio State made precisely the right choice in their self-imposed penalties.  They willingly sacrificed the Sugar Bowl (as painful as that is for us as fans), a game that the NCAA had declared the players eligible for and let the NCAA decide the remaining fate.  Given the quantity of charges, and assuming nothing else comes down the pipe, Stewart Mandel may in fact be more right than many want him to be.

Georgia Tech

The recent release of the NCAA Public Infractions Report on Georgia Tech has allowed us to enhance this article to include their allegations. In the subsequent search for information, we were able to find the Georgia Tech Response to Allegations, though not the Notice itself. Thankfully, like USC, Georgia Tech did a good job of replicating the Notice of Allegations within their response.

I’m going to leave the commentary to a minimum, and allow the information to stand on its own.

GT Allegation Violations Response
1 Two Georgia Tech Football Student Athletes were provided impermissible benefits from an employee of an Atlanta based sports agency. 12.1.2.1.6 and 12.3.1.2 Denied
2 The assistant athletics director for compliance failed to protect the integrity of the investigation by telling one student athlete from Allegation 1 the issues and related matters that would be discussed during an interview. This conversation occured despite explicit instructions from the NCAA interviewer that the information could only be shared with the University President and Athletic Director. 19.01.3 and 32.1.4 Denied (The conversation occurred, but no violations were committed)
3 The institution did not withhold the two student –athletes from Allegation 1 from competition when the institution knew or had reason to know that they were ineligible. 3.2.4.3 and 14.11.1 Denied
4 One of the student-athletes from Allegation 1 violated the principles of ethical-conduct when he knowingly provided false and misleading information and failed to submit his telephone and bank records. 10.1-(a) and 10.1-(d) Denied
5 The men’s basketball program was involved in conduct, administration and evaluation of physical activity in violation of the NCAA try-out legislation. 13.11.1 and 13.11.3.2 (Major violations denied – institution claims violations are secondary)
6 Members of the men’s basketball staff provided impermissible discretionary tickets contrary to NCAA legislation. 13.8.1 Agreed (part a is secondary in nature, parts b and c have been withdrawn by enforcement staff)
7 A football student athlete was provided admission, a meal and nonperishable items at the Georgia Aquarium by two representatives of the institution’s athletics interests. 16.02.3 and 16.11.2.1 (Secondary) Self-reported (Agreed)
8 A men’s basketball student-athlete was provided impermissible discretionary tickets. 16.2.1.1 and 16.2.1.2 (Secondary) Self-reported (Agreed)

Scope: Two Sports (Football, Men’s Basketball)

Results:

  • Public reprimand and censure.
  • Four year’s probation.
  • A $100,000 penalty.
  • Men’s basketball will have a reduction in “recruiting-person” days, a limit to 10 official visits for each of the next two academic years, and a limit in complementary tickets to individuals associated with prospective student athletes.
  • Football will vacate all victories between November 24th, 2009 and the bowl game for that season (one victory: ACC Championship).
  • Additional requirements in compliance education and advancement.

20 Comments

  1. SBBNo Gravatar
    July 13th, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    Petros’ (pros vs joes and KLAC out here) dad was the restaurant owner in question. He’s also a USC alumni and former LB.

    [Reply]

  2. C-DogNo Gravatar
    July 13th, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    This is an outstanding analysis.

    [Reply]

  3. MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    July 13th, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Perspective. Notre Dame has had two deaths connected to their football program in the past three years; the tragic demise of the young man in the scissor lift, and the suicide of a young woman who alleged a member of the football team sexually assaulted her.

    In the second case, the University found the young man to be not responsible, however the US Department of Education ripped the University a new one for their protocol in investigating sexual assaults.

    Neither incident was cited by the NCAA.

    Central Florida’s coach George O’Leary’s program was also struck with tragedy, as a player died as a part of an off season workout. The University is being sued for wrongful death, and several members of the football program (including O’Leary) testified and are considered material witness to the claims of potential neglect.

    USF has also not been cited by the NCAA.

    Just a bit of perspective- the NCAA is about sportsmanship, equity, professionalism for it’s staff, and the student athlete experience. All of these are worthwhile and valuable.

    However, the important issues, the life and death issues, seem to be outside of their interest and investment.

    [Reply]

  4. DonNo Gravatar
    July 13th, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    In response to malibuckye’s comment:

    This is in effect, Coach Tressel’s defense position when he meets with them in August. If a kid dies on your watch, who is responsible? Answer: not the NCAA.

    [Reply]

  5. Denver BuckeyeNo Gravatar
    July 13th, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    I don’t agree that the level of cooperation by USC in their investigation is anywhere comparable to that of OSU. As I understand it, they did not self-report and in fact, initially denied any worngdoing early on. This is akin to a defendant pleading guilty in court and one that pleads not guilty but found guilty after a trial — the former always receives a lighter sentence. The other factor that I believe differentiates the USC case is that the NCAA recognized a pattern of behvior that led to the Failure to Monitor including having celebrities and agents on the sidelines during their games. On the contrary, OSU is contending that DESPITE what they feltwas rigorous education and monitoring, the players still made the decision to violate the rules.

    Excellent article, but I think you failed to point out those important distinctions.

    [Reply]

    MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    July 13th, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    That’s a great point, and I certainly hope the “self reporting” aspect of this is in Ohio State’s favor.

    [Reply]

    EricNo Gravatar
    July 13th, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    You’re absolutely right Denver. Thanks for mentioning it.

    There are two factors that might make it a little difficult to compare, however.
    – USC was not graced with an overabundant quantity of compliance officers. The only had 1 full time staff member at the time, which probably made it tough for them to properly investigate to the satisfaction of the NCAA (and that may be what ultimately lead to the LOIC charge).
    – They went after OJ Mayo despite his known issues, and despite the fact that the NCAA was already giving them the third degree over Reggie Bush.

    I also want to take this opportunity to give the link to the USC Public Infractions report for completeness
    http://i.usatoday.net/sports/college/2010-06-10-usc-ncaa-report.pdf
    (h/t to expatBuckeye at theozone forum)

    [Reply]

  6. MikeNo Gravatar
    July 13th, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    USC thumbed their nose when they hired noted NCAA rule breaker, Lane Kiffin, in the midst of the investigation.

    [Reply]

  7. TomNo Gravatar
    July 14th, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Eric you left out the reason USC got hit with LOIC. In fact you left out the most important part of the whole story. I encourage you to actually read the report because in it you will find that USC’s compliance department recieved emails while Reggie Bush was still playing for USC about extra benefits being given to him and his relationship with an agent(Reggie Bush was interning for this agent with permission from the school). The compliiance department exchanged emails about sitting down with Reggie Bush and even set a time aside that they could sit down with Reggie but that meeting never took place. In short I think your comparisons are not very good when you are leaving out the most important parts. Here is the part you are leaving out. This from the report.

    Due to the fact that the sports marketing agency contacted the institution about interns, and subsequently hired student-athlete 1–an elite student-athlete with a bright professional future–for employment, the institution assumed a heightened responsibility to monitor the situation. Yet it failed to take a “proactive” stance or investigate concerns and questions that arose regarding the relationship. For example, there was no written description of the duties student-athlete 1 was to perform, at no time did anyone from the institution conduct “spot checks” to ensure that student-athlete 1 was showing up at work and performing appropriate duties, and there was no evidence that the institution performed any other monitoring of this employment relationship.
    Not only did the institution assume a heightened responsibility to monitor sports marketer A when the institution knowingly permitted student-athlete 1 to be employed by his sports marketing agency, it failed to follow-up on later information that suggested something in the relationship among sports marketer A, student-athlete 1 and the young man’s parents might involve NCAA rules issues. A full investigation of the information might have prevented and/or detected violations of NCAA legislation by sports marketer A.
    On November 9, 2005, the sports information director (“sports information director”) notified the faculty athletics representative (“FAR”), the then director
    University of Southern California Public Infractions Report
    June 10, 2010
    Page No. 49
    __________
    of compliance (“then director of compliance”) and the former director of compliance by e-mail that inquiries had been made by a journalist (“journalist”) concerning sports marketer A being on the institution’s sidelines during football contests, student-athlete 1′s employment with sports marketer A, and sports marketer A’s role as advisor to student-athlete 1 and his family. A day later, November 10, the former director of compliance contacted the FAR, the then director of compliance and the then compliance coordinator by e-mail. He told them that sports marketers A and B had been contacted by the journalist, who was making inquiries into the relationship between sports marketer A and student-athlete 1. In particular, sports marketer A “was concerned because (the journalist) seemed to focus on (student-athlete 1).” Even though sports marketer A had assured the former director of compliance that he was doing everything “by the book,” the former director of compliance came away from the conversation with the impression that “the reporter shook up (sports marketer A) and has him second guessing himself.” [Note: the following day, November 11, sports marketer A provided impermissible benefits to student-athlete 1's parents by paying their expenses to the institution's away football game against the University of California, Berkeley (Cal) including airline and limousine transportation. See Finding B-2].
    The e-mail from the former director of compliance concluded as follows: “I think we should call [student-athlete 1] in to discuss and confirm. I can do that today (since they most likely leave tomorrow for the Cal game).” However, no follow-up meeting with student-athlete 1 concerning the issues raised by the journalist ever took place. The FAR claimed no recollection of receiving or reading the e-mail.

    [Reply]

    JRNo Gravatar
    July 14th, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Tom,

    the problem that I have with this citation as the foundation for LOIC is the fact that the NCAA created a “new” standard of care on the fly during its investigation – “…an elite student-athlete with a bright professional future–for employment, the institution assumed a heightened responsibility to monitor the situation.”

    Where in the very thick NCAA rulebook does it state that a school has a greater duty to monitor high profile players. It makes sense to do this, but is it a rule?

    I strongly agree that SC screwed up, and never should have let its players (especially a Regggie Bush type) intern for a Sports Agency, but hitting them with LOIC for 1 player out of 85?

    Another small point as noted by the NCAA report, the director of compliance was fired, basically for not doing his job.

    [Reply]

  8. TomNo Gravatar
    July 14th, 2011 at 11:46 am

    JR
    They did not come up with a new standard. They are simply stating that if you allow an athlete to intern for an agent and are not doing any kind of spot checks on that athlete along with the fact that received information that something could be going on then that is blatant turning the other way to not find something.

    [Reply]

    Tristan diBonaventuraNo Gravatar
    July 14th, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Here is some stuff that might help. Ornstein and his office were approved by the NCAA Clearinghouse BEFORE Reggie Bush became an intern. The facts of this case the NCAA brought forth is that Reggie allegedly received free airfare, a rented limo, and a new suit AFTER his regular season was already over and just in time for the Heisman ceremony.

    Bush internship had nothing to do with the NCAA allegations “at first”. They made it an issue when it was alleged that HE RECEIVED impermissible benefits before and during the Heisman presentation. The NCAA did the same thing (“after the fact” allegations concerning USC’s Compliance Dept)with regards to Ronald Guillory. Guillory was pre-approved by NCAA Clearinghouse- to be considered a “guardian” for OJ Mayo- even though Guillory was a guilty party (runner) for a Sports Marketing agency in the Jeff Trepagnier case 4 years previously.

    USC Compliance didn’t “turn the other way”- they were blindsided by Reggie’s alleged benefit.

    Look, if USC Compliance staff of 2 was so woeful, wouldn’t you expect USC athletes (in quantity) to have a history of violations. Where’s the “widespread atmosphere of non-compliance” with a staff of 2?

    As JR stated, the NCAA came up with a new standard for Compliance staffing in order to hit USC with LOIC. USC should have been hit with Failure to Monitor, and they would have agreed to it. But to slight USC for “should have known” AND at the same time fault us for understaffing is an incongruence of logic.

    [Reply]

    TomNo Gravatar
    July 14th, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Tristan how were they blindsided when they exchanged emails about sitting down with Reggie to talk about alleged problems that were going on? Did you not read what I posted from the report? You are trying to muddy the waters using the Heisman as a timeline. Just stick to the facts. Before Reggie Bush played against Cal USC compliance department had information that they chose not to look into but discussed through emails. So because the NCAA cleared Reggie to interm for a marketer/agent USC does not have an obligation to check on him or to look into alleged rules breaking? They did not come up with something new. If yu read the whole sentence it is explained why there was “heightend responsibility”. Where are you getting the information that the NCAA clearing house approved this? It is in the rules that it is allowed but the school is responsible for making that decision. Please post a link or provide some more information about that.

    “Not only did the institution assume a heightend responsibility to monitor sports marketer A when the institution knowingly permitted student-athlete 1 to be employed by his sports marketing agency, it failed to follow-up on later information that suggested something in the relationship among sports marketer A, student-athlete 1 and the young man’s parents might involve NCAA rules issues. A full investigation of the information might have prevented and/or detected violations of NCAA legislation by sports marketer A.”

    [Reply]

    ianNo Gravatar
    July 19th, 2011 at 2:05 am

    where do you people make this stuff up from. what emails are you talking about. regardless of what you say or how many times you say it. it is not the truth. the ncaa and pac10 cleared mayo before he even stepped foot on campus. the intern program was cleared by the ncaa before it started. other athletes from other schools worked there too…

    [Reply]

    JimNo Gravatar
    July 19th, 2011 at 9:18 am

    [Reply]

  9. scottNo Gravatar
    July 14th, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    can someone tell me why there is nothing like this article ANYWHERE TO BE FOUND IN THE MEDIA? Even the dispatch?

    [Reply]

    MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    July 14th, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    A) We’re the media. :) Just not manstream…

    B) Because it doesn’t sell subscriptions/get viewers. We’re at an time where hyperbole and bias sell. And it’s alllllll about the Benjamins.

    [Reply]

    scottNo Gravatar
    July 15th, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    I tried to post it on yahoo – and guess what? they take it down repeatedly….

    [Reply]

    JeffNo Gravatar
    July 17th, 2011 at 10:56 am

    I’m workin’ on it…..

    [Reply]

  10. silverbuckNo Gravatar
    July 16th, 2011 at 6:39 am

    Eric, thanks for the exhaustive article and the work such an undertaking entails. I have been a long-time college sports fan, and I have seen every variety of scandal and the penalties meted out in its wake. The one consistent factor in all of these instances is the historical and methodical inconsistency of the NCAA in punishing its member institutions. You point this out, and rightly so. However, to give the NCAA a bit more credit than they perhaps might deserve, many of those inconsistencies were likely the result of the perceived level of cooperation they received during the investigations and at the hearings. Many commentators who are calling for Brutus’ head on a platter are ignoring the almost total partnership between tOSU and the NCAA throughout this whole sordid process. There is virtually no evidence of systemic rot within the Buckeye athletic department, other than Gene Smith’s repeated “Tressel Culpa” assertions (which is an entirely different subject). tOSU compliance has been, by all accounts, out in front of this from day one, at least insofar as they were informed of any potential wrongdoing. Still and all, there is no yardstick by which we might gauge the penalties which will be handed down by the good folks in Indianapolis. Their MO is and always has been to judge institutions on a case-by-case basis, taking into account not just the offenses committed, but the actions the institution has taken to both rectify and mitigate those offenses. Like it or not, it is the reality of the situation, and all of us will have to live with its result.

    [Reply]

Comment On Article