50% scholarship reductions? New NCAA punishment matrix

Submitted by MaizeAndBlueWahoo on January 17th, 2012 at 10:45 PM

You can file this one in the believe-it-when-I-see-it category, but here is an article on the NCAA's work towards a new penalty structure:


Highlights of what's being discussed:

-- Change from 2 levels of violations (major, minor) to 4 (egregious, serious, secondary, minor)

-- Financial penalties of up to 2.5% of the offending sport's budget at the school

-- Scholarship reductions of 37.5 to 50%

Must re-emphasize the believe-it-when-I-see-it aspect of this, but the idea that the NCAA is even talking about that sort of thing is...whew.  Article suggests that U-M might have lost up to four schollies a year for a couple years for the practice-time violations - and if that sounds like overkill, maybe not compared to the 32 to 42 schollies that USC would have lost, plus five or six in basketball.

Makes you wonder, if they pass this, will existing investigations be grandfathered into the old rules, or will they bring the new, much larger hammer on, say, Miami?



January 18th, 2012 at 8:33 AM ^

The real reason behind hiking the drinking age to 21 was mostly about stopping HS drinking and stopping young kids drunk driving. It was also done at the federal level, although all states have their own laws on the drinking age they all picked 21 since the federal government tied federal highway funds into the drinking laws. If a state did not have a drinking age of 21, they lost all federal funding for highway improvement.


Sorry, just a small history lesson for some of you.



January 17th, 2012 at 10:54 PM ^

I can't imagine them applying any rules like this retroactively. A punishment needs to be set before the crime is committed, that's just basic fairness. The first program to get hit with these is going to have quite a shock though. We'll probably see a lot more of the Ohio defense of blaming a rogue coach and players to save the university as a whole.


January 18th, 2012 at 12:08 AM ^

Perhaps an MGoBarrister can correct me, but we're basically talking about sentencing guidelines here, which I don't think ex post facto applies to.  Only the definition of a crime.  A person can be sentenced under new guidelines handed down between his arrest and trial, I believe.  Prohibition of ex post facto laws prevent you from being punished for something that you rightly didn't know was a crime.  What's Miami going to say?  "Oh man, if we'd known this would be the punishment, we totally would not have allowed this to happen"?  All the more reason to boost the punishment in the first place.

turd ferguson

January 17th, 2012 at 10:56 PM ^

My feeling on this is that bowl bans shouldn't go into effect right after a program gets punished but rather 5+ years down the road.  With OSU, for example, let's say that you don't ban them from a 2012/2013 bowl but you ban them from a 2016/2017 bowl instead. 

That way, you don't punish the kids already in the program who did nothing wrong, but you create a much more serious punishment for the program.  No longer can they tell recruits not to worry about the bowl ban - they'll just be redshirted through it - or subsequent coaches that it'll just buy them a rebuilding year.  Both recruits and coaches would seriously question joining major offenders.  Hell, you probably wouldn't even need scholarship reductions, which seem to have plenty of work-arounds anyway.  Just give a one-year future bowl ban to serious offenders and 2+ years to extremely serious offenders. 

That would put a quick end to the problem of the USCs and OSUs of the world immediately bouncing back after they get caught cheating.


January 18th, 2012 at 12:00 AM ^

I've always felt the same, though I wouldn't put it quite that far into the future.  I know the idea is that recruits who chose to go there would be seniors when the bowl ban hits, but I don't think that would really have the desired effect; all the star players would just think "whatever, I'm leaving in three for the league" and most kids that age don't think into the future like that anyway.  I'd start it in one or two years, so that, like you said, the program can't just redshirt people through it, but they do feel the recruiting effects right away and everyone can recruit against them. Like, for Ohio's, which got handed down in December, I'd have set it to 2013 or 2014.


January 17th, 2012 at 11:27 PM ^

less self-reporting by the schools to NCAA violations.  

At least now most of the punishments are still semi-reasonable and schools have a decent shot at coming out light if they self-report...if this goes through, even relatively minor violations will hurt enough to severely impede the competitiveness of the program.


January 17th, 2012 at 11:41 PM ^

their 600+ violations on smith's watch (I think since 2002 & their mythical NC?).

and it got them a pretty light sentence, a year's rebuild + negligible schollie reduction.

What incentive would there be to report less? ohio does all the time, pays off. Hell they even got to hire a better coach and use a second staff to recruit while their lame duck coached a bowl.

Seattle Maize

January 18th, 2012 at 1:58 AM ^

I agree.  I think the punishments themselves are not at a bad level right now, it is just the consistency in which the NCAA gives these punishments that is the issue.  Right now it is too easy for the NCAA to let a bunch of programs slide and then make an example out of some unlucky school.  I think a uniform guideline could be a step towards fixing this issue but punishments as severe as this might just cause the big time schools to say f you to the NCAA all together.  The main issue that the NCAA needs to fix is transparency in that it needs to investigate all programs equally, not just everyone except the SEC.


January 17th, 2012 at 11:29 PM ^

Until Urban and ohio turds retire from more heart failures it isn't happening. They have the system locked down. It is like asking a meth addict to decide how to secure an evidence room in Detroit.


January 17th, 2012 at 11:58 PM ^

to the death penalty, it would kill revenue streams for schools and the NCAA and its institutions have always shown an unwillingness since SMU to do things that cut off money.



Seattle Maize

January 18th, 2012 at 1:53 AM ^

If we really had gotten 4 scholarships a year for our practice violations than I think the Michigan community would have marched on the NCAA.  That would be rediculous.


January 18th, 2012 at 10:25 AM ^

thing to me, is that the NCAA could already be doing this.  They passed down sanctions on Ohio a month ago!  Between then and now they have suddenly decided to get more serious about punishment?  I dont understand why they didn't put forth these punsihments towards Ohio a month ago and say, this is the direction we are going.  


I understand that you don't want a system where you can change the price of something after it has been bought.  However, if the NCAA feels that theses are the appropriate/fair responses to infractions, I think they would have some grounds of enforcing them now.


January 18th, 2012 at 11:15 AM ^

Would you have to revoke scholies to get to that number or be simply not allowed to add more while over that number? 

This moves the needle away from the 4 year scholarship (I was hoping for) towards the single year scholie that we currently have an which lends itself to other abuses.


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