The Michael L. Buckner Law Firm continues its rules-education series with a review of NCAA legislation. Today’s post concerns NCAA Constitution 2.01 (General Principle), which provides:
Legislation enacted by the Association governing the conduct of intercollegiate athletics shall be designed to advance one or more basic principles, including the following, to which the members are committed. In some instances, a delicate balance of these principles is necessary to help achieve the objectives of the Association.
The constitutional provision has been cited in only two major enforcement cases. The relevant portions of the infractions reports addressing the violation of Constitution 2.01 is included below:
University of Illinois-Champaign (November 7, 1990)
Violation Sumary: IMPERMISIBLE RECRUITING: improper off-campus recruiting contacts; excessive number of contacts; provided opportunity to purchase championship tickets to high school coaches, prospective student-athletes and family members. EXTRA BENEFITS: false identification of individuals as family members for receipt of complimentary tickets; favorable credit consideration for car loans; small personal loans from coaches. LACK OF INSTITUTIONAL CONTROL. REPEAT VIOLATOR.
Penalty Summary: Public reprimand; annual reports; no official visits for 1991; no off-campus recruiting for 1991; recertification; maximum of two initial grants for 1991-92 and 1992-93; limit of two coaches who can recruit off campus for 1992; salaries of head coach and two assistants frozen until May 1991; disassocation of athletics representative; restrictions on complimentary tickets.
Portion of Infractions Report Addressing Violation of Constitution 2.01:
[NCAA Constitution 2.01, 2.1, 2.5 and 22.214.171.124] The university did not meet its obligations of institutional control of and NCAA rules compliance in its men’s basketball program as evidenced by the following circumstances: 1. A men’s assistant basketball coach violated basic recruiting rules when he made an improper off-campus recruiting contact with a prospective student-athlete in January 1989 during an unofficial visit by the young man to the university [reference: Part II-A of this report]. 2. Members of the university’s men’s basketball coaching staff violated basic recruiting rules, which the men’s basketball staff had an obligation to avoid violating by proper monitoring and record-keeping, when they visited the high school of a prospective student-athlete more than once during the week of April 3, 1989 [reference: Part II-B of this report]; further, although the young man was a highly recruited prospective student-athlete, the men’s basketball coaching staff members did not maintain records of their recruiting contacts relating to the young man; further, the travel expense records submitted for recruiting travel during the period failed to show visits that admittedly were made to this high school during the week in question, although they reported recruiting visits to other high schools, and finally, the university’s athletics department had previously instituted improved procedures for recording and monitoring [Page 13] recruiting contacts in its football program as a result of the violations in its 1984 case, but did not require its men’s basketball program to follow these recruiting procedures at that time. 3. There were extensive violations of NCAA rules in the men’s basketball program on complimentary admissions during the 1988-89 and 1989-90 academic years that the university’s basketball staff should have detected; further, student-athletes falsely identified individuals as relatives, and there were numerous clerical errors in administering the complimentary admissions [reference: Part II-D of this report]. 4. There were violations with respect to tickets obtained through ticket lists controlled by members of the men’s basketball coaching staff [reference: Part II-E of this report]. 5. There were violations by a representative of the university’s athletics interests (who was a participant in the courtesy car program for the basketball staff) in arranging financing for members of the men’s basketball team for the purchase of automobiles [reference: Part II-G of this report]. 6. A men’s assistant basketball coach lent small amounts of money on two separate occasions to student-athletes and failed to report the violations to the appropriate university official in a timely manner [reference: Parts II-H and II-I of this report]. 7. The university’s men’s basketball staff made available hotel accommodations at the site of the 1989 Final Four for a prospective student-athlete and his father who had purchased tickets for the game through the university’s coaching staff and who unexpectedly did not have accommodations when they arrived at the site [reference: Part II-F of this report].
University of Maryland-College Park (March 5, 1990)
Violation Sumary: LACK OF INSTITUTIONAL CONTROL. EXTRA BENEFITS: student-athletes sold complimentary tickets for $200-$250; athletics representative provided use of automobile from his dealership; accrual of frequent flyer mileage; ineligible recipients of complimentary tickets; athletics apparel. IMPERMISSIBLE RECRUITING: $40 cash loan from head coach; improper transportation; promise of video taped games to prospective student-athlete’s mother; clothing. UNETHICAL CONDUCT. [UPHELD ON APPEAL.]
Penalty Summary: Public reprimand; vacation of standings and return of revenue for 1988 NCAA championship; maximum of 13 grants for 1990-91 and 1991-92; disassociation of two athletics representatives; annual reports; recertification. [UPHELD ON APPEAL.]
Portion of Infractions Report Addressing Violation of Constitution 2.01:
[NCAA Constitution 2.01, 2.1, 2.5 and 126.96.36.199] The university did not meet its obligations to ensure institutional control of and NCAA rules compliance in its men’s basketball program as evidenced by the following circumstances: 1. There were numerous violations of NCAA rules concerning complimentary admissions for student_athletes in men’s basketball, as described in Part II-B, which involved: (a) arrangements by student_athletes for the sale of their Atlantic Coast Conference men’s basketball tournament complimentary admissions for substantial sums of money for the 1987 and 1988 tournaments; (b) participation in arranging the sale of Atlantic Coast Conference men’s basketball tournament complimentary admissions by persons who were close to the men’s basketball program, including a student_athlete, a graduate assistant coach, and others, some of whom the university’s investigation was not able to identify, and (c) violations in the designation of complimentary admissions for regular_season away games in the 1985_86 season by members of the men’s basketball team, which involved student_athletes providing such admissions as personal favors to representatives of the university’s athletics interests who directly contacted the student_athletes. These violations demonstrated a pattern of [Page 5] noncompliance with NCAA rules governing the administration of student-athletes’ complimentary admissions and extra benefits, which reflects a lack of effective monitoring and control by those responsible for the oversight and administration of the men’s basketball program, including the then men’s basketball coaching staff and the university’s athletics administration. 2. The university failed to have an effective program for overseeing and monitoring the extent to which its men’s basketball program operated in compliance with NCAA rules. These deficiencies were apparent in the following areas: a. There was a lack of administrative control and oversight of the conduct of basic recruiting activities such as official visits of prospective student_athletes. As a result, recruits on official visits were able to obtain souvenirs and apparel at little or no cost to them from a representative of the university’s athletics interests under circumstances where the men’s basketball staff should have been aware these violations were occurring. b. There were extensive violations of NCAA rules governing recruiting contacts with and transportation of a prospective student_athlete, as described in Part II_D of this report. Various persons connected with the men’s basketball program, including assistant coaches, provided improper transportation, and the circumstances were such that the then head coach knew or should have known that the men’s basketball staff was providing such transportation, and the university’s athletics administration should have been alerted to the problem if a more effective compliance program had been in place. c. The university failed to oversee and account for the distribution of equipment and apparel to men’s basketball student-athletes by its then head basketball coach and to require the student_athletes to return the items issued to them, although the then head coach obtained the apparel and equipment for the university’s men’s basketball program under a personal contract with an equipment manufacturer that the university had approved. d. The men’s head basketball coach directed the sending of money to a prospective student_athlete at the request of the recruit as described in the finding set forth in Part II_C of this report. e. The university permitted an athletics department petty cash account to be managed in a manner that enabled at least one administrative assistant in the men’s basketball program to withdraw large amounts of cash for stated athletically related expenses without having to provide a timely reconciliation of the advances with appropriate evidence justifying [Page 6] that the withdrawals were used for proper athletically related expenses. f. The university failed to make a timely report to the NCAA of the violations described in Part II_F of this report concerning an improper promise and subsequent provision of videotapes of men’s basketball games to the mother of a prospective student_athlete, when the university’s director of athletics should have been aware that a violation had been committed. 3. The university failed to have an effective program for educating members of the men’s basketball coaching staff and student-athletes on their responsibilities under NCAA rules. The seriousness of this deficiency was aggravated by the university’s failure to recognize that heightened rules education efforts would be needed as a result of its appointment of a head coach for its men’s basketball program who had no prior coaching experience at an NCAA member institution.