On October 30, 2012, the NCAA Division I Board of Directors announced changes to the NCAA enforcement structure. The changes will become effective on August 1, 2013. The core changes to the enforcement system are: 1) the introduction of a four-tier violation hierarchy that ranges from severe breaches of conduct to incidental infractions (replacing major and secondary infractions) focusing on conduct breaches that undermine the integrity of the NCAA; 2) enhanced responsibility and accountability for coaches who fail to direct their staffs and student-athletes to uphold NCAA bylaws and includes suspensions from 10% of the season to the entire season; 3) the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions increases from 10 to as many as 24 voting members; 4) the program offers “harsh consequences” that align more predictably with the severity of the violations and places a premium on aggravating and mitigating circumstances; and 5) emphasizes that NCAA compliance is a shared responsibility among coaches, compliance professionals, institutional leadership and conferences.
The new structure of violations is broken into four categories: 1) Level I: severe breach of conduct; 2) Level II: significant breach of conduct; 3) Level III: breach of conduct; and 4) Level IV: incidental issues. A description of the categories is as follows:
Level I: Severe Breach of Conduct. Violations that seriously undermine or threaten the integrity of the NCAA collegiate model as set forth in the NCAA Constitution and Bylaws, including any violation that provides or is intended to provide a substantial or extensive recruiting, competitive or other advantage, or a substantial or extensive impermissible benefit.
Level II: Significant Breach of Conduct. Violations that provide or are intended to provide more than a minimal but less than a substantial or extensive recruiting, competitive, or other advantage, includes more than a minimal but less than a substantial or extensive impermissible benefit, or involves conduct that may compromise the integrity of the NCAA collegiate model as set forth in the NCAA Constitution and Bylaws.
Level III: Breach of Conduct. Violations that are isolated or limited in nature, provide no more than a minimal recruiting, competitive, or other advantage, and do not include more than a minimal impermissible benefit. Multiple Level IV violations may collectively be considered a breach of conduct.
Level IV: Incidental Issues. Minor infractions that are inadvertent and isolated, technical in nature and result in negligible, if any, competitive advantage. Level IV infractions generally will not affect eligibility for intercollegiate athletics.
The new structure will be implemented and processed as follows: 1) conduct breaches that occurred before October 30, 2012 and are processed before August 1, 2013 will be subject to the current structure; 2) conduct breaches that occurred before October 30, 2012, but processed after August 1, 2013 will be subject to the new process but would incur the more lenient of the two penalty structures; 3) conduct breaches that occurred during a span that includes both before and after October 30, 2012 and are processed after August 1, 2013 will be subject to new process and the revised penalties as along as most of the violations occurred after October 30, 2012; and 4) conduct breaches that occur after October 30, 3012 are processed after August 1, 2013 will be subject to both the new process and the revised penalty structure. Also, under the new structure, the Division I Committee on Infractions will meet approximately 10 times per year instead of five times. Level II cases can be scheduled monthly, if necessary.