Did schools involved in the college admissions scandal violate NCAA rules?

I’ve been asked many times if any NCAA rules were violated in the college admissions scandal.  And If so, what penalties and how severe do I think the NCAA will impose on the universities involved.

NCAA Sanctions against University Athletic Departments as a Whole.  

I don’t believe that there will be significant sanctions against the university athletic programs as a whole.  The students involved aren’t actually college athletes.  That designation was used ONLY to get them admitted to their university.  As a result, the teams and athletic programs didn’t actually gain any recruiting or competitive advantage over other universities.

Also, because these students aren’t actual athletes, there shouldn’t be any issues of academic misconduct or impermissible benefits – at least as those situations pertain to NCAA rules.

NCAA penalties against individual coaches, however, may be a different story.

As we know, some coaches and athletic staff members have already been fired as a result of their involvement. An NCAA “ethical conduct” violation occurs if an athletic department employee provides false or misleading information and/or they refuse to cooperate in a continuing investigation.

NCAA Violations of Institutional Control?

I understand that these universities may not have exerted sufficient “institutional control” over their staff members perhaps as closely as they should have. However, none of these students actually joined an athletic team. As I see it, the athletic programs didn’t gain any kind of unfair advantage over other schools.

More to come?

It’s being reported that this might just be the “tip of the iceberg.”    As more information comes out and we learn more evidence and details, my opinion might change.  If so, I’ll post updated articles on our website and in our weekly newsletter.

In the meantime, our website has more information on NCAA Eligibility Issues and Recruiting Rules, and in our Blog articles.  If you have any questions regarding this article, please call our office at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.