The NCAA Committee on Infractions Has Spoken: Rutgers, the State University of New JerseyOctober 3, 2017
The NCAA Committee on Infractions Has Spoken: University of the PacificOctober 3, 2017
The NCAA Committee on Infractions Has Spoken: Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
Written by Christian Dennie
Tuesday, 03 October 2017 18:59
The NCAA Committee on Infractions (“Committee” or “Panel” or “COI”) recently issued its findings and found that Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey (“Institution” or “Rutgers”) committed violations of NCAA legislation. This case involves the football program at Rutgers. It centers on seven violation areas: (1) impermissible recruiting activities by a student host group; (2) failure to follow the institution’s drug-testing policy; (3) an impermissible academic benefit; (4) an impermissible recruiting contact; (5) unethical conduct by the former assistant football coach; (6) a violation of head coach responsibility legislation by the former head football coach; and (7) the Institution’s failure to monitor aspects of its football program. The seven violation areas, which occurred over an approximate five-year period, share the common thread of Rutgers and individuals failing to comply with institutional policies and compounding problems by further noncompliance with NCAA legislation.
The Committee concluded that Rutgers committed the following violations:
Violations of NCAA Division I Manual Bylaws 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52.8 (2011-12 through 2015-16); 184.108.40.206, 220.127.116.11.1 and 18.104.22.168.1 (2014-15); and 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199 (2014-15 and 2015-16)
Rutgers permitted members of the football ambassadors group to conduct impermissible recruiting and hosting activities over approximately five years. Also, some associated with the group engaged in impermissible recruiting and publicity outside of the group’s activities. The Institution and NCAA enforcement staff substantially agreed to the facts and that violations occurred. The Panel agreed with the parties’ position that violations occurred. These violations are Level II.
During the 2011-12 academic year through the fall of 2015, Rutgers permitted members of the football ambassadors group, or those associated with the group, to operate in noncompliance with NCAA rules in three areas. First, football ambassadors impermissibly served as student hosts during football prospects’ official and unofficial visits and became involved in recruiting activities. These actions were inconsistent with university policy. Second, some individuals associated with the group impermissibly met off campus with prospects. Finally, others associated with the group and the football program impermissibly publicized the recruitment of prospects. Rutgers fell short in implementation, education, reporting lines and oversight of the football student ambassadors. These are significant violations. The conduct violated Bylaw 13.
Bylaws 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206.8 govern the use of student hosts on official and unofficial visits and prohibit the use of student hosts in a manner inconsistent with the institution’s policies. Both Bylaw 220.127.116.11, regarding official visits, and Bylaw 18.104.22.168.8, pertaining to unofficial visits, require student hosts to be either a current student-athlete or a student who is designated in a manner consistent with the institution’s policies for providing campus tours or visits to prospective students in general. Bylaw 22.214.171.124.1 allows communication with prospects only through electronic mail and facsimile. Further, Bylaw 126.96.36.199 requires that all in-person, on- and off-campus recruiting contacts with a prospective student-athlete shall be made only by authorized institutional staff members, i.e. coaches. Bylaw 188.8.131.52 prohibits institutions from publicizing the recruitment of a prospect beyond simply confirming that the institution is recruiting the student-athlete. More specifically, Bylaw 184.108.40.206 forbids member institutions from publicizing a prospective student-athlete’s visit to the institution’s campus.
Members of the football ambassador group were neither student-athletes nor regular students operating under regular campus-visit policy. When the football ambassadors engaged in the conduct involving visits, they violated Bylaws 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168.8. In addition, the football student-ambassador group also engaged in impermissible off-campus recruiting activity arranged through text messaging and/or social media communication that violated Bylaws 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199.1. Finally, members of the football ambassador group and a football staff member publicized the recruitment of prospective student-athletes in a fashion that violated Bylaws 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206.
The COI has concluded in the past that violations occurred under similar circumstances. See Oklahoma State University (2015) (concluding that a student host group engaged in impermissible hosting activities during official and unofficial visits to campus by prospective football student-athletes and their families).
In a related way, off-campus contacts between members of the football ambassador group arranged through impermissible electronic communications also violated recruiting legislation. In this instance, members of the football ambassadors arranged off-campus contacts through text messaging and other social media, which Bylaw 220.127.116.11.1 expressly prohibits. When the football ambassadors, who were not authorized to recruit, met with prospective student-athletes on two occasions off campus, Rutgers violated Bylaw 18.104.22.168.
In another way connected to the football ambassadors group, a football ambassador and football staff member committed recruiting violations relating to the publicizing of recruiting information. When a football ambassador and the football director of recruiting commented publicly beyond confirming recruitment and publicized visits to the institution’s campus of at least 19 football prospects on social media, Rutgers violated Bylaws 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199.
Rutgers allowed the football ambassador group to function in a way that violated NCAA legislation, despite the membership being on notice for several years that use of such student hosting groups was impermissible. The NCAA published multiple education columns on this issue over the past 13 years, most recently in 2015. These education columns placed the Association on notice regarding the most current legislation on the proper use of student hosts. The educational columns were based on Bylaws 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206.8, among others, and their official and staff interpretations. The educational columns were made public and widely circulated and utilized by institutional compliance staff.
Even in light of commonly-known rules and concerns surrounding student-host groups, Rutgers took certain actions and failed to take others that led to these violations. Rutgers failed to appropriately educate members of the group and Rutgers personnel. Rutgers also chose to embed the group within the football program. Oversight of the group ultimately fell on the head coach. In this environment, it is not surprising that the group’s use and the actions of some associated with the group crossed boundaries and ran afoul NCAA rules and Rutgers’ own institutional policies.
The violations in this case are Level II violations of NCAA bylaws because they provided or were intended to provide more than a minimal but less than a substantial recruiting advantage. The Level II classification is consistent with the decision in Oklahoma State. Both cases involved impermissible recruiting activities by groups that did not comport with each institutions’ policies for providing campus tours or visits to prospective students in general.
Violations of NCAA Division I Manual Bylaws 10.2 (2011-12 through 2015-16)
Rutgers failed to follow its own drug-testing policies and procedures for a number of student-athletes over a multi-year period. Some of those student-athletes who had tested positive for banned substances then competed in contravention of Rutgers’ drug-testing policy. Rutgers and the enforcement staff substantially agreed on the facts and that violations occurred. The Panel agreed with the parties’ position that violations occurred. These violations are Level II.
At various times from September 2011 to the fall of 2015, Rutgers fell short of meeting its drug-testing policy for 32 student-athletes by not adhering to the policy in three principal areas: (1) notification; (2) proper identification of positive tests; and (3) implementation of required corrective or disciplinary action. These failures to the follow the policy involved multiple athletics personnel across the athletics department. As a result, Rutgers allowed 14 football student-athletes who tested positive for banned substances to compete without being subject to corrective or disciplinary action required by the policy. These are significant violations. The failure to comply with the drug-testing policy violated Bylaw 10.
Bylaw 10.2 addresses compliance with institutional policy on drug abuse. The bylaw specifically requires athletics personnel who have knowledge that a student-athlete used a banned substance to comply with their institution’s drug-testing policy.
Rutgers did not implement notice requirements under its drug-testing policy in several ways. At times, the medical staff did not notify the director of athletics of positive tests. Further, on a few occasions, Rutgers did not inform student-athletes of a positive drug test. The process also failed when medical personnel and/or the head coach did not notify and involve the director of athletics in determining the penalties, or alteration of required penalties, for football student-athletes who tested positive.
Rutgers did not adhere to its drug-testing policy in a second way when 15 student-athletes had positive drug tests that were not appropriately classified as first or subsequent violations of the drug-testing policy.
Rutgers also failed to implement required corrective or disciplinary action under its drug-testing policy. Specifically, the drug-testing policy required treatment contracts to be used when student-athletes tested positive an additional time (or times). Treatment contracts outlining mandatory treatment requirements, expectations and future possible sanctions were not utilized for approximately 30 football student-athletes after their first positive test as required by the institution’s drug-testing policy. Moreover, of the 15 student-athletes who had initial positive tests (or subsequent violations) and were not properly identified by Rutgers, 14 of them were permitted to compete without being subject to timely corrective or disciplinary actions, including game suspensions, required by the policy.
Under Bylaw 10.2, Rutgers was required to comply with its drug-testing policy, and it did not do so within these three areas. Because of these collective failures, Rutgers fell short in complying with its drug-testing policy, affecting numerous student-athletes. When Rutgers did not implement its drug-testing policy, it violated Bylaw 10.2.
Consistently over time, the COI has concluded that institutions that fail to implement drug-testing policies violate Bylaw 10.2. See University of Miami (1995) (concluding that the institution failed to follow its drug-testing policy and permitted three football student-athletes to compete without being subject to the required disciplinary measures specified in the policy); Baylor University (2005) (concluding that that the institution did not follow its drug-testing policy when three student-athletes failed a drug test, but the results were not reported to the appropriate university office as the policy required); Syracuse University (2015) (concluding that the institution failed to follow its written drug-testing policy when, following positive drug tests, the head coach men’s basketball coach did not contact parents of student-athletes and when counselors released student-athletes back to competition without ensuring that student-athletes no longer used banned substances); Oklahoma State University (2015) (concluding that the institution violated its drug-testing policy when it permitted five football student-athletes to participate in competition who should have been withheld from competition because they failed institutional drug tests; and California State University, Sacramento (2015) (concluding that, similar to Oklahoma State, the institution violated its drug-testing policy when it permitted five football student-athletes to participate in competition who should have been withheld from competition because they failed institutional drug tests). This case has some differences from past cases, but all share the common thread of a failure to follow institutional drug-testing policies.
The Panel concluded that these violations are Level II. Level II violations are significant breaches of conduct. Pursuant to Bylaw 19.1.2, significant breaches of conduct are those that may compromise the integrity of the NCAA Collegiate Model or that provided or were intended to provide more than a minimal but less than a substantial recruiting advantage. In this case, the violations of the drug-testing policy compromised the integrity of the NCAA Collegiate Model because such violations undermine the Association’s commitment to drug-free and fair competition. Moreover, Rutgers did not implement proper disciplinary actions, including game suspensions, for some football student-athletes who tested positive for banned drugs. In failing to do so, it gained more than a minimal recruiting advantage over institutions that complied with drug-testing policies and withheld offending student-athletes. The Level II classification is consistent with the decisions in Oklahoma State University (2015) and California State University, Sacramento (2015), both of which involved failures to comply with punitive actions required by their respective policies, including failures to withhold from competition student-athletes who tested positive.
Violations of NCAA Division I Manual Bylaws 220.127.116.11 (2014-15 and 2015-16)
During the summer of 2015, the head coach provided an impermissible extra benefit to a football student-athlete when he contacted the student-athlete’s instructor to arrange for him to complete additional coursework. The institution, the head coach and the enforcement staff substantially agreed on the facts and that the violation occurred. The Panel agreed with the parties’ position that the violation occurred. The violation is Level II.
During July and August 2015, the head coach violated NCAA legislation when he arranged for a football student-athlete to receive an impermissible academically-related extra benefit. Specifically, the head coach contacted the student-athlete’s course instructor to arrange extra work for the football student-athlete so that he could pass the course and be eligible for the 2015 football season. The head coach agreed to the facts of the violation, but claimed that he was not aware of the institution’s policy prohibiting contact between coaches and faculty members. The head coach’s conduct violated Bylaw 16.
Bylaw 16 governs benefits for enrolled student-athletes. Bylaw 18.104.22.168 is the general rule that a student-athlete shall not receive any “extra benefit.” An extra benefit is “any special arrangement by an institutional employee or representative of the institution’s interest that is not expressly authorized by NCAA legislation.”
Two months after a football student-athlete failed a dance appreciation course in which he was enrolled during the 2015 spring semester, the head coach contacted the course instructor using his personal email account and asked her to permit the student-athlete to complete extra work that would allow him to pass the course and retain his eligibility. He later personally met with the instructor to finalize the arrangement. The instructor initially agreed to the head coach’s request. The head coach stated that he was not aware that institutional policies prohibited coaching staff from contacting faculty members regarding student-athletes’ academic issues. However, this policy was a topic covered in rules compliance sessions for several years at the institution.
As a result of the head coach’s conduct, the student-athlete received a benefit not generally available to the general student body and not authorized by NCAA legislation. The impermissible benefit was the “special arrangement” to ensure the student-athlete’s eligibility. And it was made possible by the head coach’s request and his involvement in the academic affairs of one of his student-athletes.
A similar violation occurred in a case involving the University of Georgia (2014). In Georgia, on the final day of classes for the 2013 fall semester, the head swimming coach contacted a professor in an attempt to arrange an independent study class that could be added to the student-athlete’s fall semester schedule. This resulted in an impermissible benefit for the student-athlete. As in this case, the Georgia swimming coach made this arrangement to maintain the student-athlete’s academic eligibility. Consistent with the decision in Georgia, the Panel concluded that the head coach’s conduct resulted in an impermissible benefit and a Level II violation.
Violations of NCAA Division I Manual Bylaws 22.214.171.124 (2013-14)
During May 2014, an assistant football coach had impermissible, off-campus recruiting contact with a football prospective student-athlete, who was a high school sophomore at the time, at the prospect’s high school. The institution and the enforcement staff substantially agreed on the facts and that the violation occurred. The assistant coach agreed that he had face-to-face contact with the prospect, but did not agree that he engaged in a conversation. The Panel concluded that the contact occurred and that the assistant coach and the prospect spoke to one another. This violation is Level III.
On May 14, 2014, the assistant coach visited a high school in Pennsylvania. During the visit, the assistant coach spoke with the high school’s head football coach. The high school coach pulled a sophomore prospective student-athlete from class to meet with the assistant coach. The assistant coach had face-to-face contact with the prospective student-athlete and engaged in a conversation with him. This contact violated Bylaw 13.
Bylaw 126.96.36.199 prohibits off-campus recruiting contacts with a prospective student-athlete (or his or her relatives or legal guardians) before July 1 following the completion of his or her junior year in high school. In this instance, the assistant coach violated Bylaw 188.8.131.52 because the prospective student-athlete with whom he had contact was a high school sophomore at the time. Pursuant to Bylaw 19.1.3, the panel concludes that this violation is Level III because it was isolated and did not provide the institution with more than a minimal advantage.
Similar violations occurred in recent cases involving the University of Alabama (2017) and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) (2016). In Alabama, an assistant football coach initiated an in-person contact with a prospective student-athlete at the prospect’s high school during an evaluation period, prior to the end of the prospect’s junior year, a violation of Bylaw 184.108.40.206. In UCLA, the associate head football coach had impermissible off-campus contact during an evaluation period with two prospective student-athletes who were juniors in high school, also a violation of Bylaw 220.127.116.11. In both Alabama and UCLA, as in this instance, the panels determined that the impermissible recruiting contacts were Level III.
Violations of NCAA Division I Manual Bylaws 10.01.1, 10.1 (2015-16 and 2016-17); 10.1-(d) (2015-16); 10.1-(c) (2016-17)
The assistant football coach engaged in unethical conduct when he provided false or misleading information during the investigation. The institution and the enforcement staff substantially agreed on the facts and that the violation occurred. The assistant coach disagreed that he provided false or misleading information. The panel concludes the violation occurred and it is Level II.
In two separate interviews, the assistant football coach violated NCAA principles of ethical conduct when he knowingly provided false or misleading information to the enforcement staff and institution regarding his impermissible contact with a sophomore prospective student-athlete. The conduct violated Bylaw 10.
Bylaw 10 requires coaches, student-athletes and others involved with intercollegiate athletics to conduct themselves in an ethical manner. Included in this legislation is Bylaw 10.01, the general principle of ethical conduct that requires individuals at member institutions to practice honesty and sportsmanship at all times. Conversely, Bylaw 10.1 identifies behaviors that constitute unethical conduct. Among these behaviors is the knowing provision of false or misleading information to the enforcement staff and institutions, as specified in Bylaws 10.1-(c) and 10.1-(d).
During interviews conducted on December 16, 2015, and August 3, 2016, the assistant coach provided false and misleading information when he denied having any impermissible communication or contact with the prospective student-athlete during his 2014 visit to the prospect’s high school. He also stated that the only time he saw the prospect face-to-face was on the Rutgers campus during visit(s). Contrary to the assistant coach’s assertions, the prospect reported that the assistant coach visited him at his high school in the spring of 2014 and they spoke to each other. The prospect recalled that his high school coach summoned him from an art class to meet with the assistant coach and the meeting lasted approximately one to two minutes. On the day of this contact, the prospect posted a tweet thanking the institution and the assistant coach for visiting him. The assistant coach’s recruiting logs confirm that he visited the prospect at his high school on May 14, 2014. The prospect’s high school coach corroborated the prospect’s account of his contact with the assistant coach and conversation.
In his written response and at the hearing, the assistant coach ultimately admitted that he had impermissible contact with the prospect. However, the assistant coach claimed that he did not initiate the contact nor speak to the prospect during the encounter. Based on the information presented to the panel, including the accounts of the May 2014 visit by the prospect and his high school coach, the contemporaneous tweet by the prospect regarding the visit and the assistant coach’s recruiting logs, the panel concludes that the assistant coach knowingly provided false or misleading information regarding the recruiting contact, violating Bylaws 10.1-(c) and 10.1-(d). When he provided untruthful information, the assistant coach did not act with honesty and thus violated Bylaw 10.01.1.
The COI has previously decided cases involving the provision of false or misleading information as Level II violations. See University of Mississippi (2016) (concluding that an assistant track coach committed a Level II violation when she provided false or misleading information to the institution and the enforcement staff when questioned about prospects’ participation in weekend runs with enrolled student-athletes); and San Jose State University (2016) (concluding that a head women’s basketball coach committed a Level II violation when he provided false or misleading information regarding a transfer student-athlete’s participation in team activities during her year in residence).
Violations of NCAA Division I Manual Bylaws 18.104.22.168 (2011-12 and 2012-13) and 22.214.171.124 (2012-13 through 2015-16)
For approximately five years, the head coach failed in his responsibility to monitor the football recruiting operations staff relative to the football ambassador program and failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance within the football program.
The Institution disagreed that the head coach failed to monitor the recruiting operations staff; however, the NCAA enforcement staff and the Institution agreed that the head coach failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance when he contacted an instructor and arranged for a student-athlete to receive an extra benefit. The head coach disagreed that he either failed to monitor or failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance. The Panel concluded that the head coach both failed to monitor and failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance, a Level II violation.
For approximately five years, the head coach failed to monitor the football recruiting operations staff, which had direct oversight of the football ambassador group. This lack of oversight led to recruiting violations committed by the football ambassador group. Further, the head coach failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance when he violated university policy and contacted an instructor to make a special academic arrangement for a student-athlete. This conduct violated Bylaw 11.
Bylaw 126.96.36.199 and its predecessor, Bylaw 188.8.131.52, create a presumption that head coaches are responsible for the actions of their subordinates. See Syracuse University (2015) (concluding that the bylaw places a duty upon a head coach to monitor the activities of all staff and administrators who report directly or indirectly to the head coach); University of Miami (2013) (concluding that the bylaw holds head coaches responsible for the conduct of staff); and Indiana University, Bloomington (2008) (concluding that the bylaw places a specific and independent monitoring obligation on head coaches). The monitoring responsibility applies to all assistant coaches and program staff members who report, either directly or indirectly, to the head coach. That presumption is rebuttable.
Here, the head coach failed to rebut the presumption as it relates to the football ambassadors. From the 2011-12 academic year through the fall of 2015, the head coach took a casual approach to compliance as it relates to the student ambassador program. He exercised little, if any oversight of the group, permitting the recruiting staff to administer the program with no supervision. The panel noted that, upon being promoted to head coach, the head coach never had a conversation with the previous head football coach or compliance office regarding the structure or function of the football ambassador program and its permissibility under NCAA legislation. In addition, the head coach acknowledged that there were no written procedures pertaining to the football ambassadors and their activities. As the individual who had ultimate oversight of all aspects of the football program, it is implicit that the head coach was also responsible for the actions of football ambassadors and, ultimately, the violations they committed. At the hearing, the head coach appeared to recognize this, acknowledging during the discussion of the football ambassadors that he was responsible for all aspects of the football program.
The head coach also violated head coach responsibility legislation when, using his personal email account, he contacted a faculty member to arrange for the provision of an impermissible academic benefit for a student-athlete who had failed a course the previous semester. He later met in-person with the instructor. The head coach did so in an effort to gain the student-athlete’s eligibility for the 2015 football season. Institutional policy prohibits coaches from contacting academic faculty and staff regarding student-athletes. The head coach admitted that he is responsible for knowing the rules and a violation occurred, but maintained that he did not knowingly violate this policy when he contacted the student-athlete’s instructor.
As detailed earlier in this decision, a very similar violation occurred in a 2014 case involving the University of Georgia. In Georgia, the head swimming coach contacted a professor in an effort to make a special academic arrangement for a men’s swimming student-athlete in order to ensure the student-athlete’s eligibility. The Georgia panel concluded that this action violated head coach responsibility legislation. Consistent with the decision in Georgia, the panel concludes that the head coach failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance, a Level II violation, when he contacted the student-athlete’s instructor and made an impermissible academic arrangement.
Violations of NCAA Division I Manual Constitution 2.8.1 (2011-12 through 2015-16)
Over a five-year period, the Institution violated the principle of rules compliance when it failed to monitor its football program and ensure compliance with its football student-ambassador program and institutional drug-testing policy. The Institution and the NCAA enforcement staff agreed on the facts and that the violation occurred. The Panel agreed with the parties’ position that the violation occurred. The violation is Level II.
During the 2011-12 through 2015-16 academic years the institution failed in its duty to monitor in two ways: (1) it failed to ensure that the football student-ambassadors’ recruiting activities were permissible; and (2) it failed to follow its established drug-testing policy with respect to 32 football student-athletes. The institution’s failure to monitor violated NCAA Constitution 2.8.1.
NCAA Constitution 2.8.1 requires that each member institution comply with all rules and regulations of the Association, monitor its programs to ensure control over all aspects of it intercollegiate athletics program. The Constitution also establishes that the institution’s administration or faculty, or a combination of the two, exercise control and responsibility over the conduct of the institution’s intercollegiate athletics programs. The institution failed in this regard as it related to the monitoring of its football ambassador program and proper adherence to its drug-testing policy.
Regarding the monitoring of the football ambassador program, the institution’s Office of Enrollment Management was responsible for providing campus visits or tours to all prospective students, including prospective student-athletes. NCAA legislation requires that athletics host groups be administered in a manner consistent with the institution’s policy for providing campus visits or tours to prospective students in general. The university failed to monitor by not integrating the football ambassadors with the Office of Enrollment Management, in accordance with university policy. Further, even though athletics compliance staff members were present on many unofficial visit weekends and most official visit weekends to observe the group’s activities, the monitoring failed to detect the infractions set forth in Violation A. Moreover, there was little, if any, oversight of the group by senior football staff members, specifically, the head coach. Finally, the institution did not provide rules education to the football staff or ambassadors regarding the “do’s and don’ts” of such programs. This occurred despite the fact that the Association published numerous Educational Columns on this topic and that the Division I COI issued an infractions decision that included a Level II violation involving a student host group.
The Institution also failed to monitor relative to compliance with its own drug-testing policy. As detailed in Violation B, between September 2011 and the fall of 2015, the institution failed to ensure that it adhered to its drug-testing programs written protocol regarding: (1) notification of positive tests to the Director of Athletics and involving the Director of Athletics in the penalty phase of the program; (2) failing to identify positive tests in accordance with the program’s procedures; and (3) not subjecting student-athletes to the prescribed penalties of the program. As a result, 14 student-athletes were permitted to compete without being subjected to the corrective or disciplinary actions mandated by the institution’s drug-testing policy.
Aggravating and Mitigating Factors in accordance with NCAA Bylaws 19.9.3 and 19.9.4
Aggravating Factors for the Institution
19.9.3-(g): Multiple Level II violations;
19.9.3-(h) Participation/Condoning by persons of authority; and
19.9.3-(k) Pattern of noncompliance within the football program.
Mitigating Factors for the Institution
19.9.4-(a): Prompt self-detection and self-disclosure of the violations; and
19.9.4-(d): Established history of self-reporting Level III or secondary violations.
Aggravating Factors for the Head Coach
19.9.3-(f): Violations were premeditated, deliberate or committed after substantial planning;
19.9.3-(g): Multiple Level II violations;
19.9.3-(h): Person of authority condoned/participated in the violations; and
19.9.3-(j): Conduct or circumstances demonstrating an abuse of a position of trust.
Mitigating Factors for the Head Coach
19.9.4-(c): Affirmative steps to expedite final resolution of the matter; and
19.9.4-(h): The absence of prior conclusions of Level I, Level II or major violations committed by the involved individual.
Aggravating Factors for the Assistant Coach
19.9.3-(e): Unethical conduct
Mitigating Factors for the Assistant Coach
19.9.4-(h): The absence of prior conclusions of Level I, Level II or major violations committed by the involved individual.
As a result of the foregoing, the Committee penalized Rutgers as follows:
1. Public reprimand and censure.
2. The Institution shall pay a $5,000 fine.
3. Two years of probation from September 22, 2017, through September 21, 2019.
4. The Institution shall reduce in the number of permissible, off-campus recruiting days by a total of 10: five days in the fall evaluation period and five days in the spring evaluation period during the 2017-18 academic year.
5. The Institution shall limit the football program to 36 official visits (for high school seniors and transfer students) in football during the 2017-18 academic year, a reduction by four from the average number of visits used during the four most recent academic years and 26 fewer than permitted under NCAA legislation.
6. The Institution shall prohibit telephone calls, contact via social media, and written correspondence with prospective student-athletes for a one-week period during the 2017-18 academic year.
7. Rutgers suspended the head coach for three contests during the 2015 football season.
8. The head coach received a one (1) year show cause penalty.
9. The assistant coach received a one (1) year show cause penalty.
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