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What is a "Failure to Monitor"?: A Review of the Committee on Infractions' Expectations, Part IV [Higher-Ed/College Athletics Best Practices Alert (Second Quarter 2014)]

Author: Michael L. Buckner, Esquire (Shareholder)

NCAA Constitution 2.8.1 declares a member institution "shall comply with all applicable rules and regulations of the Association in the conduct of its intercollegiate athletics programs" and "shall monitor its programs to assure compliance and to identify and report to the Association instances in which compliance has not been achieved." Buckner continues its multi-part series exploring an institution's duty to monitor compliance with NCAA legislation. The entries in this series will use decisions and commentary from the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions to illustrate the scope of an institution's duty to monitor. The fourth article in this series reviews the September 6, 2013, decision of the Committee on Infractions in the Iowa State University enforcement case.

The case involved the placement of “impermissible telephone calls in all 18 of the institution's sports programs,” as well as the submission of impermissible text messages by a former student men's basketball coach. The committee also found “the student men's basketball coach, as well as a current woman's basketball non-coaching staff member, engaged in impermissible coaching activities involving nonscholastic basketball teams.” Finally, Iowa State “agreed that it failed to monitor over a period of three years.”

The Committee on Infractions found the institution possessed “a monitoring system.” However, the failure to monitor violation occurred when “the institution failed to follow” the monitoring procedures when:

  • Telephone calls were not adequately monitored, especially in the sport of football from July 2008 to May 2011.
  • Coaches' telephone logs in all sports were not cross-checked by the institution with the coaches’ telephone records.
  • Adequate NCAA rules education was not provided to coaches. [Note: The committee concluded the lack of proper education “contributed to the violations because the institution's coaches did not know that they were required to log all telephone calls.”]

Contact Michael L. Buckner (954-941-1844; mbuckner@bucknersportslaw.com) for more information pertaining to the NCAA enforcement process and decisions of the Committee on Infractions.