NCAA Infractions Committee Q & A

NCAA Division I infractions committee chairman Paul Dee fielded questions from the media about its findings in the case against the University of Michigan. Chief among the topics covered was the reasoning behind dropping the charge that Rich Rodriguez failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance.

For those that missed the transcript of the teleconference with the NCAA Infactions Committee, click here.

Question:  Why were there not more direct charges against the head coach in this case?

Paul Dee, committee chairman:  "The charges that were brought before the committee are reviewed by the committee and they are limited and we reviewed the charges that were brought and we considered all the information that was brought to us.  The committee does not make the charges.  It can change the rules that they are based, but we cannot change the facts or facts charged and we reviewed the facts that were advanced to us."

Question:  The committee said that the rules are stated clear and the staff with a veteran experienced head coach consistently violated from the time he arrived on campus.  I am curious from that what the decision not to charge the head coach with failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance?

Paul Dee, committee chairman:  "The committee reviewed the facts that were placed in front of it and changed the charge from a bylaw 11 to a bylaw two charge and that's where failure to monitor came from."

Question:  I was wondering if you could explain the process a little more to change the level of the infraction from one bylaw to another.  Is that indication of lessening of the offense, because the language is pretty strong in that section that Mr. Rosenberg mentioned.

Paul Dee, committee chairman:  "When the committee reviewed all of the information before, it also considers the appropriate bylaw and determines whether the bylaw, which has been charged, which has been defined and the committee made the determination that it was more appropriate to charge the bylaw two."

Question:  Does that have a penalty to it, a more severe problem?

Paul Dee, committee chairman:  "I think it just has to do with how the facts come in."

Question:  I was wondering are you allowed to look at his previous record and that show the charges happening at West Virginia or are you allowed only to look at Michigan?

Paul Dee, committee chairman:  "We look at what is placed in front of us, but I would say in any case you are limited to the case in front of you."

Question:  Were you aware of the West Virginia allegations?

Paul Dee, committee chairman:  "In the following way, generally, like anyone that is a sport's fan, but not in particular.  None of the information with regard to that case was made available.  I'm giving you a personal answer, yes I heard about it."

Question:  We have seen a lot of cases like this were coaches or student-athlete are (unclear on) what is an official practice and what is not.  Would you describe as a growing problem or something that the NCAA has to be more explicit about; how would you sort of characterize or put some context around that particular issue?

Paul Dee, committee chairman:  "I think like anything else you try to make sure that the people have a good understanding of what the rules are.  They are responsible for those rules and I would also suggest that the use of personnel such as the quality control staff is a relativity new feature that is being used and consequences as you begin to use and expand staffs and that are using this type of personnel that universities allow their athletic departments to have them.  You have to make sure that they fit within the rules.  That would be the context that I would suggest that people need to look at."

Question:  I noted in the report, and I have only had a chance to skim it pretty quickly, it seems to be fairly critical of Coach Rodriguez in several different areas.  He did not pay proper attention to compliance staff, did its due diligence in trying to educate the coaching staff while submitting forms that were missing and repeatedly asking for the forms.  Can you give us your in layman's language interpretation of how Coach Rodriguez's conduct was during this period?

Paul Dee, committee chairman:  "I think there are many different facets to it.  I think the best way to explain things sometimes is the captain of the ship theory.  The coach is ultimately responsible but that doesn't mean the coach is involved in all of the activities that occur and consequently some of the things that did occur did not get all the way to the coach but ultimately the coach bears the responsibility for the program.  I think there were some things that the coach was aware and there were other things that the coach was not aware as we heard the evidence but believed that the ultimate responsibilities were."

Question:  The report that talked about the sessions that Coach Rodriguez and his staff had with the compliance had that got handouts and did their job in getting him the right information.  He says that he told investigators that he had no specific recollection that was in the handouts; should he have or have you heard that from coaches before or did that strike you as answer that was not sufficient?

Paul Dee, committee chairman:  "Whenever you have a question of fact and you have a long length of time whether you were fully knowledgeable of that fact when it occurred and when you were fully knowledgeable have recollection of it months later when you are asked a question about it.  You have to run that through the mill and you try to find what was the most reasonable thing for people to do and what kind of answers are reasonable answers such as the questions that you asked.  That's what the committee had to do was run grind through those kinds of issues and determine how well someone should be aware of things because it is a responsible balanced against whether they just failed to remember what in the material."

Question:  From the sounds of it that some of have reported that Michigan had sort of been cleared of this fifth charge, the one that they had challenged.  It sounds like you are saying that you changed it to a different bylaw violation, am I getting that correctly?

Paul Dee, committee chairman:  "I don't know what you reported but if you reported that he was cleared with respect to the failure to promote the atmosphere, we did change that charge, from a charge under bylaw 11 to a failure to monitor that is correct."

Question:  We are still unclear on the change from rule 11 to rule 2; for of those who do not know the NCAA rulebook as well as you could spell that out to us please in plain English what the difference in the charges is?

Paul Dee, committee chairman:  "The answer is and I think the fairest thing to do and one of the things that I've learned a long time ago in practicing law is not to paraphrase but to recommend to you either NCAA or the university make available to you, the rules.  The rules are fairly straight-forward and I would just say the committee considering all the facts that came before it, determined that the bylaw 2 was more appropriate than bylaw 11."

Question:  I am reading the university's response from back earlier this year and it says that university also agrees that Rodriguez failed to satisfy the monitoring responsibilities required of head coaches under bylaw 11-1-2-1 is that what you ended up agreeing with?

Paul Dee, committee chairman:  "The monitoring responsibility, yes, but I think that also comes under bylaw 2."

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