NCAA looks for alternative punishments for rules violation
September 30, 2022
NCAA has reportedly been trying to stay away from enacting postseason bans and scholarship reductions as a form of punishment for the schools that violate NCAA rules.
College sports move towards less centralized governance courtesy of the NCAA and deregulation in general, in the hopes of creating a more streamlined enforcement process.
The Division I Board of Directors adopted three proposals in order to change the infractions process last month. They also committed to identifying appropriate types of penalties and modifying current penalty ranges, which included looking for potential alternative penalties to postseason bans.
Predicting and finding those alternatives would be difficult and there are limited options. The goal is to avoid harming athletes and others who are not involved in violating the rules. Nebraska law professor Jo Potuto said the punishment has to fit with the type of offense.
“I emphatically believe it’s the wrong direction to go,” Potuto said. “If you’re going to deter, the punishment has to fit the offense, right?
“You’re not going to deter serious violations with penalties that are not perceived to be really serious.”
Potuto spent nine years on the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
While the current infractions process allows negotiation resolution when not all parties participate, the new rules clarify when the appropriate cases are bifurcated. The changes are set to apply on January 1.
Air Force’s college football program being put on probation
While looking for an alternative solution for rules violations, NCAA placed the Air Force Falcons football program on probation for two years on Thursday. They also issued other penalties for recruiting violations the team committed during COVID-19 dead periods.
The Falcons and four individuals who were involved in the case reached an agreement with NCAA enforcement staff regarding the violations, which has been preliminarily approved by the Committee on Infractions panel. A fifth unnamed individual is currently fighting the allegations and his case will be resolved through an infractions hearing.
A report from the Action Network stated that former Falcons defensive line coach Bill Sheridan was one of the coaches involved in the investigation. Before coaching the Falcons, Sheridan was the inside linebackers coach for the Wisconsin Badgers and resigned on May 13.
The team and those four individuals asked the Division I Committee on Infractions to publicly acknowledge and release the findings of the case and begin serving penalties while waiting for the final decision. Hearing panel chief Gary Miller appreciated their cooperation in the matter. They reportedly will not make a final ruling until the fifth individual’s case has been resolved.
"The (committee) appreciates the parties' efforts in working collaboratively together to reach agreement on the violations, levels, classifications, and significant and meaningful penalties," Miller said. "The panel also recognizes that Air Force has gone above and beyond in its overall approach to this case."
The Falcons will be fined for an unspecified amount. They also have been imposed with recruiting restrictions which included a 46 reduction of total official visits for the next two academic years, banned on unofficial visits from September 1 to October 12, a four-week ban on communication recruitment in this academic year, a 34-day reduction in evaluation days and have the football roster reduced by 10 for four years.