Football infractions among 24 secondary violations IU reported to NCAA in 2017-18 year

Indiana University’s athletic department self-reported 24 secondary violations to the NCAA during the 2017-18 academic year, according to a document obtained by The Herald-Times through an open records request.

Of those reported infractions, four involved IU’s football program — including one that contributed to the departure of an assistant coach.

The list of infractions illustrates the complex — and often strange — web of rules that coaches and athletic department administrators across the country must navigate to stay in the NCAA’s good graces. According to its bylaws, the NCAA considers secondary/Level III breach of conduct violations as “isolated or limited in nature,” and are almost always viewed as minor or unintentional missteps.

The Herald-Times filed the records request on Aug. 7, 2018. It was returned through IU’s Office of the Vice President and General Counsel late on Friday afternoon.

According to the document, an assistant football coach directed a graduate assistant to provide a prospective student-athlete with apparel valued at $275 from the graduate student’s personal allotment at the end of an official visit in December of 2017.

Per NCAA bylaw 13.2.1, “an institution’s staff member … shall not be involved, directly or indirectly, in making arrangements for or giving or offering to give any financial aid or other benefits to a prospective student-athlete or his and her family members, other than expressly permitted by NCAA regulations.”

After receiving an anonymous report that a violation may have occurred, the university conducted an investigation and determined that the football assistant coach hadn’t been fully cooperative with the probe. As part of its corrective action, the university reported to the NCAA that it “secured” the coach’s resignation, according to the document.

The document does not name the assistant coach, though safeties coach Noah Joseph was the only football assistant to leave the staff after the 2017 season. Joseph took a similar coaching position at Rutgers in February 2018.

The football team also reported a violation after the school “inadvertently” paid for a fifth family member’s meal during a recruit’s official visit. NCAA rules allow schools to pay for meals for up to four family members during an official visit. According to the document, IU collected $123.05 in restitution from the family and donated the money to an unspecified charity.

Another football violation involved non-coaching staff members “improperly engaged in coaching … on irregular and infrequent occasions.”

The football, women’s soccer and swimming programs were in violation of the same rule in the fall of 2017 when two student-athletes participated in preseason practice prior to a parent or legal guardian signing drug testing consent forms required when an athlete is still a minor. A third student-athlete participated in regular season practice activities prior to signing the drug testing consent form. The document does not specify which athletes belonged to which programs.

Men’s basketball was involved in two violations, one of which took place at Hoosier Hysteria in 2017. There, several of the highly-ranked recruits in attendance were paraded across the court on the way to their seats. It was a clear violation of an NCAA bylaw that prohibits schools from facilitating additional publicity of recruits taking official and unofficial visits to campus.

In response to the infraction, IU reduced the basketball program’s recruiting-person days for the 2017-18 year by four, from 130 to 126.

The men’s basketball program reported another violation last spring. According to the document, “based on the assistant men’s basketball coach’s understanding that an international (prospective student-athlete) was participating on a scholastic team, the coach conducted an evaluation during the academic year at a non-scholastic practice.”

As a corrective action, the university imposed a standard “two-for-one” reduction in recruiting days for the 2018-19 academic year. The NCAA took it a step further, reducing the IU basketball program’s recruiting-person days by four.

The women’s basketball program self-reported a violation after incorrectly reimbursing a prospective recruit above the institutional mileage rate by five cents. As a corrective action, IU collected restitution of $1.15 from the recruit.

Indiana’s volleyball program self-reported an infraction last summer after it was determined that the team’s director of operations and an unnamed assistant coach paid for three meals for the volunteer coach over the course of several unofficial visits. In response, the NCAA said Indiana should be required to have the volunteer coach donate the value of the meals to a charity of the volunteer coach’s choice.

For context, Indiana says it reported 15 secondary violations during the 2016-17 academic year and 23 during the 2015-16 year.

15 comments

  1. Just mind-numbingly stupid. Leaves no doubt why coaches earn(key word)what they do. I wouldn’t put up with the NCAA bureaucratic dysfunction for any amount of $.

  2. Coach Joseph leaving to go to Rutgers left question unanswered until now.

    Power 5 schools have been talking about leaving the NCAA and the number of rules along with uneven enforcement are some of the reason they are looking at doing this. The NCAA is a byzantine organization any more. I hope Condi Rice can straighten out the NCAA but I have serious doubts anyone can.

  3. I wonder what the compliance cost of all this is to the university. IU (and every other school) must have a dozen people on the payroll to deal with this. And as petty ($1.15 over the limit for mileage?) as a lot of this seems, what’ the alternative? It certainly can’t be “Abolish the NCAA.” If you think IUFB operates at a disadvantage now, what would it be like if there were no rules on the wine-and-dine circuit for recruits?

    1. What are you gonna do?

      So, there is a rule that says you can only go up to X amount. The school goes over X amount. Aren’t you supposed to report that?

      If a doctor was only supposed to prescribe 1000 oxycodone and he prescribed 1040 don’t you think he should report it?

      Sure, some of it seems insignificant, and it is, but if there is a limit and you exceed it it’s pretty reasonable that you at least go on record. If a rule is broken shouldn’t it be addressed?

      Why have the rules if they can be selectively ignored? That is why the rules were adopted in the first place.

      1. Brother Chet: Sorry my post wasn’t as clear as it might have been. I agree, if it’s over the limit it should be reported. I was griping about the overall scope and complexity of the the whole scheme. Just imagine if the same resources put into NCAA compliance were put into, say, nurturing freshman who managed to get into IU, but whose backgrounds might indicate poor prospects for graduation. Just dreamin’ here.

  4. These are self reported violations, something every school does. The NCAA doesn’t look for this kind of stuff, but schools employ sizable compliance staff to make sure the rules are being followed. Turning up a few small violations is commonplace everywhere. Stuff like giving kids memorabilia isn’t, and it’s why schools follow these regulations so closely. So this isn’t about the NCAA being bad guys, it’s about IU working hard to follow the rules. It’s all good.

  5. The mileage reimbursement error resulting in the infraction was 5¢. If you spilled 5¢ worth of ice water would anyone care? A rudderless cluster /;!# overloaded with bureaucracy masquerading as a reputable institution. Talk about overpaid.

  6. Things probably not reported or begrudgingly reported are; ghost classes @ N.C., dating services @ Lville, who knows what goes on @ Duke and KY and others etc. Is a part of compliance job responsibility to look the other way depending on the school or NCAA just throws them in the same bucket with the secondary infractions. I am sure everyone operates in good faith as in see nothing and know nothing. Probably most go to church on Sunday. Lol.

      1. Chet,
        My only question is how do these schools keep dodging the consequences of their actions?

  7. Major or secondary, separating or included as one bucket, gray area and overlap is more widespread than will ever be known. Example, car driver gets speeding ticket may have sped a hundred times before he was ever actually pulled over. Same with many misdemeanor offenses and some felony offenses. The suspect if he can get away with it when he is caught…it is always his first time of doing such a thing or didn’t know.

  8. Wiretaps aledge Arizona coach paid players. NC 4th grade classes. Duke hands off. What is reality?

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