NCAA Process

NCAA Process

NCAA membership created the infractions process to ensure fair play and integrity among NCAA schools. Resolving a case of alleged violations include distinct phases of fact gathering, review and appeal.

I.  Investigation

After learning of possible violations, the NCAA enforcement staff conducts research and decides whether to investigate.  If the facts warrant an inquiry on campus, the NCAA enforcement staff issues a notice to the institution and investigates.  During the investigation phase, the NCAA enforcement staff works with the institution and involved individuals to discover the facts.  Since every case is unique, the length of time for the process differs based on the issues presented at each institution.

In 2015, Rutgers University was notified by the NCAA it had initiated an investigation into potential rules violations.  Throughout the process, the University cooperated with the NCAA as they investigated the matter.

II.  Notice of Allegations

At the conclusion of the investigative process, the NCAA enforcement staff makes a determination of whether to bring formal allegations for any NCAA bylaws or rules it believes have been broken by the institution, its staff or student-athletes or associated parties and provides written notice to the school and involved individuals. The formal allegations are issued in a Notice of Allegations (NOA) document which details the bylaws alleged to have been violated and provides supporting evidence.

Rutgers University received an official NOA from the NCAA in December 2016.

III.  Response to Notice of Allegations

Once an institution or individual receives an NOA, they may file a response, which leads to a hearing before the Committee on Infractions. The response shall state which factual assertions and violations included in the notice of allegations, if any, are contested and which are uncontested.  The institution or individual has 90 days to file a response to the NCAA. Included in that response could be challenges to any of the alleged bylaw violations included in the NOA, along with supporting evidence.

All parties who receive an NOA may submit a response within 90 days or request an extension from the Chairman of the Committee on Infractions.

IV.  NCAA Enforcement Staff’s Opportunity to Respond  

The NCAA enforcement staff may file a written reply to the responses and must produce a statement of the case. The NCAA enforcement staff shall not include new allegations or a materially different factual basis underlying any allegation in its reply or in the statement of the case.

V.  Hearing Before the Committee on Infractions

The Committee on Infractions (COI) is charged with reviewing, judging and ultimately determining any NCAA violations and issuing appropriate penalties. The COI is an independent group of qualified individual from NCAA schools, conference offices and the public.  

After the NCAA staff issues the NOA and the COI receives any and all responses to the NOA, a hearing date and location is set at which the NCAA enforcement staff and representatives of the institution will be present.  At the COI hearing, the NCAA enforcement staff presents its case and responds to any Committee inquiries, while the institution outlines its own conclusions and case, including mitigating factors. A typical COI hearing lasts from one to two days.

VI.  Issuance of Committee on Infractions Report

The institution will receive a copy of the full report before the NCAA releases its findings publicly.

In the COI report, any bylaw violations as determined by the Committee will be detailed as will any punitive measures imposed on the institution or individuals.

VII.  Appeal of Committee on Infractions Report

After the issuance of the COI report, an institution or an involved individual may appeal violations or penalties to the Infractions Appeals Committee (IAC).   The decision to appeal is solely at the discretion of the institution or individual. When an appeal is filed, the IAC hears arguments from the school, involved individuals and the COI.  

The IAC has the final word on whether a violation occurred and whether penalties are appropriate.  The IAC deliberates privately to decide if the COI decision should be affirmed or reversed.  The appeal process time varies but the ultimate decision is final.