WASHINGTON, D.C. — LEAD1 Association (“LEAD1”), which represents the athletics directors of the 131-member schools of the Football Bowl Subdivision (“FBS”), is pleased to share that a collaborative effort between the LEAD1 Infractions Working Group and the NCAA Transformation Committee directly led to seven LEAD1 infractions policy recommendations being approved today by the NCAA Division I Board of Directors.
“I am grateful for the outstanding leadership continually demonstrated by Greg Sankey, Julie Cromer and the entire NCAA Transformation Committee,” said LEAD1 Association President and CEO, Tom McMillen. “We are pleased that the Board of Directors voted to pass so many important NCAA policy changes and I commend both the Transformation Committee and our LEAD1 working group for its tremendous efforts.”
Chaired by Brigham Young University Director of Athletics Tom Holmoe and The Ohio State University Athletic Director Gene Smith, LEAD1 established a working group of 15 senior-level athletics administrators with the goal of affecting change to the NCAA’s infractions process. The working group generated a series of recommendations which were endorsed by 75 FBS athletics directors and subsequently sent to the NCAA Transformation Committee on Oct. 28, 2021.
Notable changes recommended by the LEAD1 Infractions Working Group include:
- Eliminating the NCAA’s current Independent Accountability Resolution Process at the conclusion of cases currently in progress
- Clarifying existing standards and legislating specific mitigating factors for active cooperation (including exemplary), self-detection, and reporting
- Creating a more precise and concrete standard as to when enforcement staff should bring forth allegations and legislating clearer standards for head coach responsibility
- Developing expedited mediation paths throughout the enforcement system when there is significant party agreement
“At a time when the NCAA has adopted a new constitution, addressing the enforcement process has been a significant focus,” said Smith. “LEAD1’s recommendations offered a comprehensive approach to address some of the existing challenges with the resolution of infractions cases. We’re pleased the Board has adopted our recommendations which will position the infractions process to deliver more timely outcomes that focus on the most critical conduct. This will increase the membership’s confidence in the consistency of decisions and points to a future where bad actors will be held accountable rather than programs or student-athletes that are innocent of the infraction.”
“Our LEAD1 working group dedicated months researching and discussing the entire NCAA infractions system from pre-allegation to hearing stage,” said Holmoe. “I’m thrilled to see many of our recommendations become NCAA legislation as our proposals integrate greater transparency and clearer standards into the infractions process. I commend the Transformation Committee for their collaboration and willingness to incorporate feedback from our many athletics practitioners.”
Additional LEAD1 recommendations to be voted on this fall include:
- Revisiting the list of penalties included in the penalty matrix, including an emphasis on finding alternative penalities to be levied instead of post-season competition bans
- Exploring the reduction in size and/or the restructure of the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions in order to increase confidence in the consistency of decisions and outcomes
“I look forward to our LEAD1 athletic directors and the Transformation Committee continuing to work together to ensure that the well-being of student-athletes, coaches and administrators alike is kept at the forefront of all major NCAA decisions,” said McMillen. “While today’s results represent significant progress, more change is needed and we are already looking forward to the advancement of the next round of recommendations.”
About the LEAD1 Association:
LEAD1, founded in 1986 and formerly the Division 1A Athletic Directors Association, represents the athletics directors of the 131 member universities of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), that encompasses 42 states, 55,000 student athletes, and more than 25,000 athletic administrators. Key to LEAD1’s mission is advocating on policy facing NCAA Division I FBS athletic departments, promoting consensus among FBS athletic directors, and providing valuable services to member schools – all dedicated towards supporting the success of student-athletes and future of college sports. Since 2015, LEAD1 has been led by the Honorable Tom McMillen, a former Congressman, college basketball All-American, Rhodes Scholar, and 11-year NBA player. For more information, please visit www.LEAD1Association.com.
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