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NAAC MBB Examination: Best Practices for Institutional Consideration

Oct. 20, 2017

On October 11, 2017, the NCAA Board of Governors and the Division I Board of Directors issued a memo in response to the federal criminal complaints revealed in college basketball. The memo charged all Division I institutions with examining their men’s basketball programs immediately for possible NCAA rules violations, including but not limited to, offers, inducements, agents, and extra benefits.

Specifically, the memo cites the imminent start to the men’s basketball season and the need to review whether any eligibility implications may arise from previously undiscovered violations.

While it is ultimately each member institution’s responsibility to determine the avenues most appropriate to comply with NCAA rules and the October 11, 2017 memo, NAAC seeks to serve as a resource for its members and to provide an avenue for collaboration amongst members and their institutions, including best practices for nationally significant issues. Below are some best practices institutional administrators may consider in an effort to detect possible rules violations and any resulting eligibility implications.

Given the allegations rise to the level of federal criminal complaints, institutions should first consult with their Legal Affairs/General Counsel on an appropriate course of action.

  • Consult with Athletics Director and other administrative personnel (e.g., University President/Chancellor, sport administrator) to review publicly available information, relevant NCAA legislation, and potential next steps to ensure compliance within your respective men’s basketball program.
  • Prioritize current student-athlete eligibility reviews in order to certify eligibility for the first competition. The NCAA Eligibility Center will not conduct re-certifications for pre-enrollment violations. Institutions should follow their own investigative procedures in determining what, if any, rules violations occurred.
  • Review current men’s basketball student-athletes’ records (i.e., beginning of year forms, complimentary admissions) and backgrounds to determine whether there are any intersections with publicly named individuals, AAU programs, etc., and determine whether any additional follow up with student-athletes and associated individuals is needed.
  • Review institutional recruiting records (i.e., telephone reports, campus visits, off-campus recruiting activities) to determine the level of involvement with publicly named individuals, and determine whether any additional follow up is needed.
  • Conduct interviews/have discussions with men’s basketball coaches (and relevant staff members) to determine whether they have knowledge of any potential rules violations at the current institution or previous institutions.
    • Determine who is best suited to participate in the interviews/discussion (e.g., institutional counsel, outside counsel, senior compliance administrator, FAR, sport administrator)
  • Conduct interviews/have discussions with current men’s basketball student-athletes to determine whether they have knowledge of any potential rules violations at the current institution or previous institutions.
    • Determine who is best suited to participate in the interviews/discussion (e.g., institutional counsel, outside counsel, senior compliance administrator, FAR, sport administrator)
  • Require current men’s basketball student-athletes and/or staff members to sign an affirmation/disclosure related to the allegations and include NCAA Bylaw 10.1 language.
  • Conduct rules education sessions with current men’s basketball student-athletes and staff members to discuss/review the current FBI investigation, NCAA rules and the directive from the NCAA Board of Governors and the Division I Board of Directors.

All institutions should react to information obtained through the review of its men’s basketball program in accordance with its institutional and athletics department policies and procedures. Additionally, institutions contacted by the FBI/government must adhere to any instructions given by those entities.