The Michael L. Buckner Law Firm continues its educational series on NCAA legislation through a review of selected cases involving secondary rules-violations. Today’s post reviews a secondary case involving a violation of the following NCAA legislation:
NCAA Bylaw 188.8.131.52-Activities During Official Visit.
An institution may not arrange miscellaneous, personalized recruiting aids (e.g., personalized jerseys, personalized audio/video scoreboard presentations) and may not permit a prospective student-athlete to engage in any game-day simulations (e.g., running onto the field with the team during pregame introductions) during an official visit. Personalized recruiting aids include any decorative items and special additions to any location the prospective student-athlete will visit (e.g., hotel room, locker room, coach’s office, conference room, arena) regardless of whether the items include the prospective student-athlete’s name or picture. (Adopted: 8/5/04, Revised: 5/14/05)
The bylaw was cited in Secondary Case Number 46117 (decided on November 17, 2011 [Division: I Involved Sport: Football]), which is summarized below:
Facts: During 2008 through 2011, the institution displayed personalized nameplates to football prospective student-athletes during their official visits to the institution. Specifically, in December of 2008, the equipment manager inquired of the associate athletics director for compliance regarding the use of displaying personalized locker room nameplates during prospective student-athletes’ official visits to the institution. The associate athletics director of compliance incorrectly indicated the use of nameplates was permissible. The football eligibility and compliance coordinator subsequently utilized that information and permitted personalized nameplates to be displayed during prospective student-athletes’ official visits. The football coaching staff did not realize such use was impermissible. The violation was discovered when a picture of several prospective student-athletes was posted on a social media website and subsequently distributed through a variety of media outlets.
Additional Facts: None.
Institution Action: Institution reviewed applicable NCAA legislation with involved staff members. Conference action: Conference noted that the involved PSAs must be declared ineligible and reinstatment must be sought from NCAA staff. Additionally, the institution requires the institution to conduct an athletics deparment wide rules education session regarding permissible activities during official and unofficial visits. Lastly, the conference reminds the institution of the importance of reporting violations in a timely manner.
Enforcement Action: The institution should be required to reduce the football program’s evaluation days from 210 to 200 and reduce the number of official visits the football program may provide by two from the average number provided during the past four years. In addition, the institution should be required to issue the involved staff members and the head football coach a letter of admonishment. Finally, the PSAs are ineligible for intercollegiate competition at the institution until he is reinstated by the NCAA reinstatement staff.
Eligibility Action: STAFF:
The Michael L. Buckner Law Firm recommends institutions: (a) review the secondary report summarized above; and (b) enhance any relevant aspects of the institution’s rules-compliance program to address the issues contained in the report.