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Arizona State University Issues Statement on NCAA Infractions Decision


NCAA Report available by clicking here.

The findings of the NCAA concerning the ASU baseball program fall principally into four categories:

1) Violations stemming from poor record keeping
2) Making more than the permissible one phone call a week to recruits
3) The improper recruitment of one player
4) Use of student managers during practices

The essence of the NCAA’s findings, as stated in the NCAA news release, is, “The violations were the result of poor record keeping, failure to monitor and a cavalier attitude on the part of the former head baseball coach to NCAA regulations.”

The university agrees it could have monitored — and now does monitor — the program more closely and for that reason it self-imposed significant sanctions, including vacating all wins during the 2007 baseball season, including a conference championship and College World Series games.  However, many of the record keeping related violations were highly technical (some are not even violations under current NCAA rules) and one of the NCAA’s added sanctions is unduly harsh under the circumstances.

Thus, ASU intends to appeal the NCAA report because the university disagrees with some of the findings of fact and the characterization of some infractions as major rather than secondary.  The university also intends to appeal the additional sanction of banning post-season baseball play in 2011, which punishes many student athletes and coaches who were not involved in the rules violations.

The NCAA report claims that ASU did not self-detect any of the violations in this case.  This ignores the fact that it was ASU that first investigated and reported most of these violations.

Finally, the report’s finding of a lack of institutional control is inconsistent with the fact that overall ASU had and continues to have a very strong compliance program as the Pac-10 conference’s 2009 compliance review report acknowledged:

“In every key area, the vital components of an effective compliance program are in place (at ASU), and they are functioning properly.

“An NCAA compliance system can never bat a thousand, and there will never be a solution to the bad actor phenomenon where one coach or one student-athlete or one booster knowingly violates a rule or carelessly flouts an established policy.  But a school can minimize its risks by building a compliance culture with trusted leadership and by carrying on hundreds of the small bureaucratic processes routinely and professionally.  In my opinion, Intercollegiate Athletics at ASU has succeeded at this.”

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