The NCAA compliance department will no longer tolerate major rules infractions for head coaches or their staff. The NCAA is instituting a policy that presumes head coaches “to be responsible for the actions of all assistant coaches and administrators who report, directly or indirectly, to the head coach.” As of October 30, 2012, the Division 1 Board of Directors will adopt bylaw 126.96.36.199 which is a radical and more strict approach to holding coaches accountable for rules violations by coaches and their staff.
This newly adopted four-tier penalty system identifies violations which could lead to head coach suspensions in Division 1 men’s basketball, football, women’s basketball, and other sports other than football and basketball.
This strict structure is placing the onus on the head coach. The NCAA is being very clear to head coaches that ignorance will not be tolerated and the head coach is responsible for all actions occurring within the program. If a program is found to be in violation, the head coach will be responsible and will face suspension. For major infractions, a head coach can be suspended for an entire season and for minor infractions, half of a season.
The suspensions can be tempered if a head coach can show proof that he or she acted with vigilance to prevent any of the alleged violations and showed that he or she “promoted an atmosphere of compliance and monitored” the staff.
From a football perspective, this new bylaw is in no doubt a reaction to the incidents that occurred at USC, Ohio State, Penn State, North Carolina, and the University of Central Florida. All five programs are currently facing or faced bowl bans, suspensions, and/or probation.
This is a bold move by the NCAA to crack down on infractions.