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The NCAA Committee on Infractions Has Spoken: University of California, Los Angeles

The NCAA Committee on Infractions (“Committee” or “Panel”) recently issued its findings and found that University of California, Los Angeles (“UCLA” or “Institution”) committed violations of NCAA legislation. The Panel considered this case through the cooperative summary disposition process in which all parties agree to the primary facts, violations and violation levels as fully set forth in the summary disposition report (“SDR”). Because the Institution agreed to the violations and penalties, there is no opportunity to appeal.


In this case, the Institution's associate head football coach knowingly arranged for and provided impermissible services to two then prospective football student-athletes. In doing so, the associate head football coach also violated the NCAA principles of ethical conduct. Additionally, the associate head football coach engaged in impermissible off-campus recruiting contacts with three prospective football student-athletes. Lastly, the Institution impermissibly provided one prospective football student-athlete with a second official visit to its campus.


The agreed-upon violations centered on the associate head football coach's arrangement for and provision of two then-prospective football student-athletes with housing and training services for approximately three weeks at a private training facility in Arizona. Specifically, the associate head football coach paid $2,400.00 for the two prospects' housing at a local hotel and training services at a facility owned by a former National Football League player with whom he was acquainted. The parties agreed and the Panel concluded that these violations are Level II. Because the associate head football coach knew or should have known that his conduct violated NCAA legislation, his conduct was unethical. Additionally, the associate head football coach engaged in impermissible off-campus recruiting contacts with three prospects which resulted in Level III violations. Lastly, the Institution committed a Level II violation when it provided a prospect with a second official visit to its campus. The total value of the impermissible visit amounted to approximately $500.00.


The Panel accepts the parties' factual agreements and that violations occurred in this case. After considering the aggravating and mitigating factors, the Panel classified the case as Level II – Mitigated for the Institution. Because the violations occurred after October 30, 2012, the effective date of the current NCAA Bylaw 19, the new penalty guidelines apply. After considering the aggravating and mitigating factors, the Panel adopted all of the Institution's self-imposed penalties and prescribed the following principal penalties as appropriate for the Institution: recruiting restrictions and a financial penalty.


Additionally, and after careful consideration of the aggravating and mitigating factors, the Panel classified this case as Level II – Aggravated for the associate head football coach. Under the new penalty guidelines, the Panel prescribes a two-year show-cause order for the associate head football coach.


The Committee found that UCLA committed the following violations of NCAA legislation:


Violations of NCAA Division I Manual Bylaws 13.2.1, 13.2.1.1-(g) and 13.2.1.1-(h) (2013-14) (Level II)


The enforcement staff, the Institution and the associate head coach agreed that in March 2014, the associate head coach knowingly arranged for and provided services valued at $2,400 for two then- football prospective student-athletes (prospects 1 and 2, respectively) to receive housing and football training services for approximately three weeks in Scottsdale, Arizona, through the owner of a private training facility.


Violations of NCAA Division I Manual Bylaws 10.01.1, 10.1 and 10.1-(c) (2013-14) (Level II)


The enforcement staff, the Institution and the associate head coach agreed that in March 2014, the associate head coach violated the NCAA principles of ethical conduct when he arranged for and provided expenses that were impermissible for prospects 1 and 2 as set forth above. It is agreed that the available factual information does not support a conclusion that the associate head coach knew or understood at the time the arrangement was made that it was a violation of NCAA legislation, but he agreed that had he exercised more care and diligence, he would have known or understood the arrangement was in violation of NCAA legislation.


Violations of NCAA Division I Manual Bylaw 13.6.2.1 (2013-14) (Level II)


The enforcement staff and the Institution agreed that during December 7-9, 2013, the Institution's football program provided prospect 2 with a second official visit to its campus, which included approximately $500 in housing, local transportation and meal expenses.


Violations of NCAA Division I Manual Bylaws 13.02.5.2 and 13.1.1.1 (2013-14 and 2014-15) (Level III)


The enforcement staff and the Institution agreed that in May and September 2014, the associate head coach had impermissible off-campus recruiting contact with three prospective student-athletes. On May 14, 2014, the associate head coach had impermissible off-campus contact during an evaluation period with two then-football prospective student-athletes (prospects 3 and 4, respectively), who were juniors in high school. On September 26, 2014, the associate head coach had impermissible off-campus contact during an evaluation period with another then football prospective student-athlete (prospect 5) at a restaurant in Honolulu.


Aggravating and Mitigating Factors in accordance with NCAA Bylaws 19.9.3 and 19.9.4


Aggravating Factors for the Institution


19.9.3-(b): A history of Level I, Level II or major violations by the institution, sport program(s) or involved individual.


19.9.3-(g): Multiple Level II violations by the Institution.


Aggravating Factors for the Associate Head Coach


19.9.3-(e): Unethical conduct. Mitigating Factors for the Institution


19.9.4-(b): Prompt acknowledgment of the violation, acceptance of responsibility and the imposition of meaningful corrective measures and/or penalties.


19.9.4-(c): Affirmative steps to expedite final resolution of the matter.


19.9.4-(d): An established history of self-reporting Level III or secondary violations.


19.9.4-(f): Implementation of a system of methods designed to ensure compliance.


Mitigating Factors for the Institution


19.9.4-(b): Prompt acknowledgment of the violation, acceptance of responsibility and the imposition of meaningful corrective measures and/or penalties.


19.9.4-(c): Affirmative steps to expedite final resolution of the matter.


19.9.4-(d): An established history of self-reporting Level III or secondary violations.


19.9.4-(f): Implementation of a system of methods designed to ensure compliance.


Mitigating Factors for the Associate Head Coach


None.


As a result of the foregoing, the Committee penalized UCLA as follows:


1. Public reprimand and censure.


2. Recruiting restrictions: a) the Institution reduced the number of full-time coaches by one for the spring recruiting period, from April 15 – May 30, 2015; b) the Institution reduced the number of its spring evaluation days from 168 to 150 for the spring 2015 recruiting period; and c) the Institution reduced by two the number of official visits from their four-year average for the 2015-16 academic year.


3. The associate head coach received a two-year show cause penalty.


4. The Institution reduced the number of full-time coaches by one for the entire spring practice period, from March 31 – April 25, 2015.


5. The Institution shall pay a $5,000 fine.


6. The Institution reduced the number of full-time coaches by one for the first two games of the 2015-16 football season.

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