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NCAA Infractions Policy

NCAA
Infractions Policy


Guiding Principles

Western Washington University is committed to the principles of honesty and fair play in intercollegiate athletics. In support of these principles, NCAA bylaws state that individuals employed by (or associated with) Western Washington University who "administer, conduct or coach intercollegiate athletics, and all participating student-athletes, shall deport themselves with honesty and sportsmanship at all times so that intercollegiate athletics as a whole, the institution and they, as individuals, shall represent the honor and dignity of fair play and the generally recognized high standards associated with wholesome competitive sports" (Bylaw, Article 10.10.1).


Unethical Conduct

Unethical conduct by a prospective or enrolled student-athlete or a Western Washington University staff member will not be tolerated. Unethical conduct may include, but is not limited to, the following:

(a) Refusal to furnish information relevant to an investigation of a possible violation of an NCAA regulation when requested to do so by the NCAA or Western Washington University;

(b) Knowing involvement in arranging for fraudulent academic credit or false transcripts for a prospective or an enrolled student-athlete;

(c) Knowing involvement in offering or providing a prospective or enrolled student-athlete an improper inducement or extra benefit; or

(d) Knowingly furnishing the NCAA or Western Washington University false or misleading information concerning the individual's involvement in or knowledge of a violation of matters relevant to a possible violation of an NCAA regulation (Bylaw, Article 10.1).


Eligibility

The NCAA (Constitution, Article 3.2.4.3) requires Western Washington University to certify the eligibility of student-athletes in accordance with NCAA legislation and to immediately apply all applicable rules, including withholding ineligible student-athletes from competition, subject to an appeal to the NCAA Eligibility Committee for restoration of eligibility.

It is the responsibility of the director of athletics to maintain regular communication with the faculty athletics representative regarding student-athlete eligibility and related matters. The director of athletics shall immediately alert the faculty athletics representative to all prospective situations that may affect student-athlete eligibility.

If information arises about a current student-athlete who is participating in intercollegiate athletics, the director of athletics must undertake an immediate review of the situation in order to determine the student-athlete's eligibility status until the time at which the matter is resolved in accordance with NCAA and institutional policy and procedure. The director of athletics shall inform the chair of the compliance committee in writing about the situation and action taken. A copy of the letter shall be sent to the president. The director of athletics shall document the rationale for his/her decision in the event new facts or questions arise later in the inquiry.

Institutional staff members found in violation of the provisions of this regulation shall be subject to disciplinary or corrective actions set forth in Bylaw, Article 19.4.2.1-(1) of the NCAA enforcement procedures, whether such violations occurred at Western Washington University or during the individual's previous employment at another institution (Bylaw, Article 10.4).


Reporting Alleged Infractions

Alleged violations shall be reported to the director of athletics, compliance officer, or faculty athletics representative and forwarded to the chair of the compliance committee for review and action.


Investigating Alleged Infractions

It is the intent of Western Washington University to promote full disclosure of rules violations. Investigations of alleged infractions may be instituted by either the NCAA or Western Washington University. It is important to consider that the NCAA manual states that "self-disclosure shall be considered in establishing penalties, and, if an institution uncovers a violation prior to its being reported to the NCAA and/or its conference, such disclosure shall be considered as a mitigating factor in determining its penalty." (Administrative Bylaw, Article 32.2.1.2).

Western Washington University shall employ the following procedures for investigating alleged violations and self-reporting discovered violations to the NCAA and to conferences of which the University is a member. The intent of these procedures is to provide a means for impartial and thorough investigation, with timely submission of findings to appropriate University, conference (if any) and NCAA authorities.

Reports of alleged violations shall be forwarded to the chair of the compliance committee for review and action. If the compliance committee chair determines there is not sufficient cause to further investigate a possible violation, he/she shall file a written report of the alleged violation and subsequent decision. The report shall state the nature of the alleged violation, action taken, and rationale for that action. This written report shall be reviewed by the compliance committee and remain on file for future use, if needed. Copies of the report shall be sent to the president and to the director of athletics. If the compliance committee chair determines that a secondary or major vi

Secondary Violations. A secondary violation is one that provides only a limited recruiting or competitive advantage and that is isolated or inadvertent in nature (Bylaw, Article 19.02.2.1). Secondary violations shall be investigated by the compliance coordinator. They shall report their findings in writing to the compliance committee and to the director of athletics within ten (10) days of receiving the report of an alleged secondary infraction.

The director of athletics shall have ten (10) days to take action and report back in writing to the compliance committee regarding the procedures taken for addressing and correcting identified problems.

Within ten (10) days of receiving the director of athletics' report, the compliance committee chair will file a written report with the NCAA and conference (if any). Copies of the report shall also be forwarded to the university president and university legal counsel.

The compliance committee chair's written report to the NCAA and conference shall include the following information:

  • The date and location of the violation;
  • A description of the violation, including the rule citation;
  • The identity of the coaches, prospective and enrolled student-athletes, and other individuals involved in the vi
  • The means by which the institution became aware of the violation;
  • A list of corrective and disciplinary actions taken by the institution and conference (if any);
  • The institution's position regarding the information. (It is important to note that if Western Washington University disagrees that the facts presented result in a violation, the stipulated facts first would be referred to the NCAA legislative services staff for a determination of the application of NCAA legislation.);
  • A statement indicating whether any eligibility issues need to be resolved and, if so, whether Western Washington University is requesting restoration of eligibility for any prospective or enrolled student-athlete; and
  • Any other information that should be considered in reviewing the case.
If the self-reported secondary violation affects the eligibility of a current prospective or enrolled student-athlete and the University is requesting restoration, the case shall be forwarded, concurrent with submission of the compliance committee chair's written report, to the NCAA Director of Eligibility for handling. All other violations shall be reported to either the NCAA Group Executive Director for Enforcement and Eligibility Appeals or the NCAA Enforcement Representative.

Once all pertinent information is received by the NCAA, secondary cases are reviewed by the enforcement staff under the provisions of Administrative Bylaw, Article 32.4. The NCAA enforcement staff will decide whether the possible violation is to be handled by correspondence, by hearing, or by in-person inquires. All NCAA inquiries will be conducted according to procedures set forth in Administrative Bylaw, Article 32.

Under the provisions of Bylaw, Article 19.7.1, Western Washington University may file a written appeal of the enforcement staff's decision to the full Committee on Infractions. That appeal may occur through written correspondence or through an appearance before the committee (Administrative Bylaw, Article 32.10-11). Once the appeal is considered by the full committee, the University will be advised of the action in writing.

Major Violations. All violations other than secondary violations are considered major violations, specifically including those infractions that provide an extensive recruiting or competitive advantage (Bylaw, Article 19.02.2.2). Repeated secondary violations may also be identified as a major violation.

If, in the process of conducting their internal investigation, the faculty athletics representative and compliance coordinator determine that a major violation may have occurred, they will report their finding to the compliance committee within seven (7) days. The chair of the compliance committee will then notify the NCAA, the University president, and University's legal counsel to inform them that an internal investigation of a possible major infraction will be conducted.

Possible major violations will be investigated in a timely manner by the compliance committee, with advisement from university legal counsel. The investigation will be conducted in a manner consistent with procedures set forth in Guidelines for NCAA Member Institutions Submitting Results of Internal Inquiries Concerning Possible Major Infractions and in Bylaw, Article 19).

  • The chair of the compliance committee shall organize and manage the investigation subject to all relevant Western Washington University, conference, and NCAA policies and procedures. All persons involved in the investigation shall be notified of the investigation and of their rights and obligations according to these policies and procedures.
    • All information gained during the investigation shall remain confidential.
    • Interviews and Hearings. If an interview or hearing is scheduled, the compliance committee chair shall give written notification to those persons involved of the time and place of their respective interview or hearing and the availability of advisement to assist them in understanding the investigation process. They shall be informed of the date and nature of the alleged violations affecting them. The interview or hearing shall occur not fewer than five (5) nor more than fifteen (15) days from the date of notification. Interviews and hearings shall be recorded for later reference.
    • Within thirty (30) days of completing its investigation, the compliance committee shall submit to the NCAA a written report describing the investigation, findings, and meaningful corrective and punitive actions the University plans to implement. The report shall be available for review by those persons involved in the investigation.
  • The NCAA enforcement staff will review the report submitted in order to determine its position on the information. In nearly all situations, the enforcement staff will conduct some inquiries of its own in order to determine its position. These inquiries may include interviewing individuals, visiting campus (to review records, memorandums, transcripts or tape recordings of interviews) and writing the University for additional information.
  • In accordance with Administrative Bylaw, Article 32.2.2.2, the group executive director for enforcement and eligibility appeals shall identify violations as major or secondary, subject to the approval of the Committee on Infractions. Similarly, the committee shall determine what (if any) findings should be made and what (if any) penalties should be assessed.

Appeals

In determining whether or not to appeal the NCAA decision, and how to file any resulting appeal, the University shall follow the process described in Divisions I and II NCAA Guide to Eligibility, Section 9, "Restoring Eligibility," as well as Administrative Bylaw, Articles 32.10-11.

The general NCAA goal in restoring the eligibility of a student-athlete involved in a violation is to put the student-athlete back in the position he/she was in prior to the violation. Exception to this are (1) when the student-athlete knew or should have known that their actions were in violation of NCAA rules; (2) Bylaw 13 - recruiting cases (Did the institution receive a recruiting advantage?); and (3) Bylaw 12 - amateurism cases (Did the individual intend to professionalize himself/herself?).


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