The NCAA's Infractions Appeals Committee: Recent Case History, Analysis and the Beginning of a New Chapter
Virginia Sports & Entertainment Law Journal, Vol. 9, p. 47, Fall 2009
142 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2010 Last revised: 26 Dec 2010
Date Written: October 1, 2009
As a result of gambling-related scandals in the 1950s, the NCAA created a Committee on Infractions (COI) to enforce NCAA legislation, eliminate violations and impose appropriate punishments should violations occur. The NCAA’s enforcement process came under heavy scrutiny in the 70s and 80s, led by a lengthy court battle with former UNLV head coach Jerry Tarkanian that eventually reached the Supreme Court. Several states unsuccessfully challenged the NCAA on due process grounds prompting the NCAA to create a Committee led by former U.S. Solicitor General Rex Lee and BYU President Rex Lee to examine the NCAA’s enforcement procedures. As a result, the NCAA created the Infractions Appeals Committee (IAC) in 1992 to hear appeals of the finding of major violations by the COI. In the 17 years since its creation, the IAC has adjudicated at least 44 cases and has developed a stronger body of case and law and precedent, as well as increased independence from the COI.
Two previous articles, Richard R. Hilliard, Angel F. Shelton and Kevin E. Pearson, An Update on Recent Decisions Rendered by the NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee: Further Guidance for NCAA Member Institutions, 28 Journal of College and University Law 605 (2002) and Kenneth J. Martin, The NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee: Procedure, Precedent and Penalties, 9 Seton Hall Journal of Sports Law 123 (1999) examined the IAC decisions from its inception through 2000.
This article will examine the 20 most recent cases, including the findings and penalties of the COI, the case chronology, the issues presented before the IAC and the IAC’s eventual findings. In addition, there is a post-script section for each case, informing the reader of what happened to the relevant parties and NCAA programs after the decision.
Next, a “Case Analysis” section discusses the legal issues of each case. The section is organized and assessed by the issues on appeal, both from an institutional and individual perspective. The analysis covers procedural issues, evidentiary issues, as well as cases challenging the penalties.
Lastly, as the IAC nears 20 years of existence, we discuss the evolution and ramifications of the IAC during its history. We address the impact of the recent changes in NCAA guidelines for the IAC and look at some of the current and future issues with which the IAC, the NCAA, member institutions and coaches are likely to have to deal.
Keywords: NCAA, COI, IAC, Infractions, Bylaws
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