New NCAA enforcement structure takes effect
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Rules-breakers beware. The NCAA is now holding everyone more accountable with harsher punishments.
More than a year after hammering Penn State for Jerry Sandusky’s crimes and nearly six months after shaking up the enforcement division because of a self-inflicted scandal, the governing body cast aside its outdated two-tiered penalty structure and deliberative hearing process in favor of new policies that could result in the suspension of coaches and more consistent punishments for major infractions.
The new rules, approved in October, officially took effect Thursday.
“I think they’ve certainly changed the equation a lot,” NCAA President Mark Emmert told the Associated Press. “So those doing risk-reward analysis, we’ve just upped the ante on risk, and I think that will have a material impact on people’s behavior.”
Emmert called for tougher measures to go into effect two years ago during a presidential summit in Indianapolis. Now that they’re finally on the books, the embattled Emmert has a rare victory in what has been one of the toughest years in NCAA history.
From the announcement of rogue staffers violating the organization’s own policies to the continual critiques about how Emmert runs the NCAA to concerns about low morale inside the Indianapolis headquarters, everything has been a target. There are court cases, complaints from conference commissioners, debates about whether big-budget and small-budget schools can co-exist in the same division and calls for Emmert’s resignation.
Amid all that, many of the attempts to reform college sports have fizzled, including a $2,000 stipend for athletes that Emmert champions. The board of directors passed that measure in the fall of 2011 only to have it stopped by opposition from smaller schools, many of whom complained they couldn’t afford it.
But getting tough on cheaters is something most college leaders have rallied around.
College fans will see a noticeable difference in the way cases are handled.
Instead of categorizing infractions as major or secondary, there will now be four categories. Punishments will be reduced or toughened based on whether there are mitigating or aggravating circumstances. Teams or schools found to be in “serious breach of conduct” with aggravating circumstances could face severe penalties, if … [For more on New NCAA enforcement structure takes effect, click here.]