NCAA Report on UK Football Case, Part I

Background info on the NCAA's investigation...

I. INTRODUCTION


This case involved the football program at the University of Kentucky and concerned violations of NCAA bylaws governing recruiting, extra benefits, falsification of recruiting records, failure to control salary of an employee, failure in fiscal control of an outside organization, unethical conduct (including academic fraud), failure to monitor and a lack of institutional control. The University of Kentucky is a Division I institution and a member of the Southeastern Conference. The university has an enrollment of approximately 22,000 students and sponsors 10 men's, 11 women's and one mixed-gender intercollegiate sports.

At the heart of this case were significant violations of NCAA legislation primarily committed by a former assistant football coach who also served as the director of football operations and recruiting coordinator (henceforth, "the recruiting coordinator"). In fact, this was one of the more serious cases heard by the committee in recent years in terms of the scope and breadth of the violations. In addition to the recruiting coordinator, at least two other assistant football coaches, a recruiting assistant, three student workers, a camp football camp director, members of the football equipment staff, eight football student-athletes, at least six prospective student-athletes, two high-school coaches and numerous representatives of the institution's athletics interests were all implicated in the violations either directly or indirectly. Additionally, in excess of $7,000 was spent by the institution (primarily through the recruiting coordinator) to pay for impermissible recruiting inducements and/or monetary gifts to high-school coaches and prospects.

Most of the information contained in this case was the result of the university's own self-discovery and subsequent investigation. The university's action was triggered by rumors about the recruiting coordinator's illicit activity, which led to his forced resignation on November 20, 2000. The information developed by the university and confirmed by the enforcement staff indicated that the recruiting coordinator had been subject to little, if any, oversight, resulting in an environment in which recruiting violations occurred. As alleged by the enforcement staff, the committee found that the former head football coach (henceforth, "the head football coach") failed to monitor the activities of the recruiting coordinator. Although not alleged by the enforcement staff, the committee also found that the circumstances of this case warranted a finding of lack of institutional control against the university. The committee initially considered this finding based upon the information originally submitted by the university and enforcement staff, together with information provided at the hearing. Prior to the conclusion of the hearing, the committee informed the university specifically that the committee was considering such a finding and invited the university to respond. The university responded at the hearing and then subsequently in a written submission from the president. These responses were considered by the committee prior to making its finding.

The university had previous infractions cases in 1989 (men's basketball), 1976 (football and men's basketball), 1964 (football) and 1952 (men's basketball).

 

CASE CHRONOLOGY


2000

November 20 - The director of athletics, the assistant director of athletics and the associate director of athletics determined that due to rumors about violations during an unofficial visit that concerned the recruiting coordinator, the institution should conduct a thorough investigation of the institution's football program. The assistant director of athletics was chosen to lead the internal investigation. The Southeastern Conference Commissioner as well as a private investigator under contract to the conference also assisted the investigation. The vice-president for NCAA enforcement services was also notified of the investigation.

November 2000 to February 2001 - The assistant director of athletics and the private investigator interviewed a number of institutional staff members, student-athletes, prospective student-athletes and family members, and gathered relevant documentation/records.


2001

February 28 - The director of athletics and the assistant director of athletics hand delivered the results of the institution's internal investigation to the enforcement staff.

March 30 - The NCAA forwarded a preliminary inquiry to the institution.

August 3 - The enforcement staff issued a letter of official inquiry to the institution, former head football coach and the recruiting coordinator.

October 3 - Responses to the letters of official inquiry were received from the institution, the former head football coach and the recruiting coordinator.

October 16 - Prehearing conference was held with the former head football coach.

October 18 - Prehearing conference was held with the institution.

November 16 - The institution appeared before the Division I Committee on Infractions.

November 29 - The institution was notified by letter that the committee was considering a finding of lack of institutional control and invited the university to respond.
December 20 - The committee received the university's position regarding the question of institutional control in a letter dated December 19 from the university's president.


2002

January 4 - The enforcement staff provided its opinion to the committee regarding the question of whether the institution lacked institutional control.

January 31 - Infractions Report No.192 is released.


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