Takeaways from a recent Public Infractions Decision posted by the NCAA
- Over course of the 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years, a director of men’s basketball operations at a DI institution aided ten men’s basketball student-athletes in the completion and submission of online coursework and assignments.
- Overall, there were four instances of academic misconduct and eight instances of impermissible academic benefits involving these ten men’s basketball student-athletes.
- Specifically, after an internal institutional investigation triggered after concerns were voiced by student-athlete mentors to these men’s basketball student-athletes, the DOBO was found to have used his institutionally-owned computer to access the online coursework portal of several student-athletes and completed/submitted online coursework on their behalf.
- The DOBO maintained a log of the user name and passwords for these student-athletes to access their respective online coursework portals.
- The DOBO accessed these student-athletes’ coursework portals, completed coursework and submitted their assignments without the student-athletes’ knowledge.
- In one instance, a student-athlete did not know his user name and password to access the online coursework portal yet his portal indicated that he had completed and submitted assignments therein.
- The institution also determined that there were warning signs in 2010 that the DOBO had become involved in student-athletes’ academic endeavors, as he was found to have helped student-athletes draft emails to faculty and administrators.
- Four instances of academic misconduct (Level I)
- Eight instances of impermissible academic extra benefits (Level I)
- Institutional Failure to Monitor (Level II)
- One year postseason ban (self-imposed)
- Three year probationary period
- Financial penalty ($5,000 + 1% of men’s basketball budget)
- Loss of scholarships (2 total: 1 per year for two seasons) (self-imposed)
- Five-year show-cause order against the former DOBO
Important Conclusions and Affirmations:
- Institutional staff members who complete online coursework for prospective or current student-athletes commit Level I violations (pg. 12 of report).
- Current and former institutional staff members must not knowingly provide student-athletes with extra benefits.
- Academic misconduct cases can lead to failure to monitor violations when an institution has reason to pay attention to involved staff members.
Notable Corrective Actions Taken by Institution:
- Limit student-athletes to one online class per term.
- Establish an academic oversight group to review student-athlete academic trends and practices (10 faculty members).