NCAA Football

Four Tiered Enforcement System to Be Adopted by NCAA in 2013

Brian Spurlock- US PRESSWIRE














National Collegiate Athletic Association president Mark Emmert has proven one thing during his tenure:

He’s not afraid to put action where his words occupy.

Beginning August 1, 2013, the NCAA will adopt a more stringent, tiered enforcement program for rules violations than the one currently in place, which has little power in the eyes of the college sports community.

As it stands, there are two types of NCAA violations:  primary and secondary. This rigid structure doesn’t really allow for much grey area in interpretation, as something that on paper appears to be a minor violation to the average person, could be classified as the exact opposite.

Under the new system there are four tiers of violations (via

Level I: Severe Breach of Conduct

– Any violation that provides or is intended to provide a substantial or extensive recruiting, competitive or other advantage, or a substantial or extensive impermissible benefit.

Level II: Significant Breach of Conduct

– Includes more than a minimal but less than a substantial or extensive impermissible benefit; or involves conduct that may compromise the integrity of the NCAA collegiate model as set forth in the Constitution and bylaws.

Level III: Breach of Conduct

– Violations the create a competitive or other advantage; and do not include more than a minimal impermissible benefit. Multiple Level IV violations may collectively be considered a breach of conduct.

Level IV: Incidental Issues

– Minor infractions that are inadvertent and isolated, technical in nature and result in a negligible, if any, competitive advantage.

While it’s interesting to see the new enforcement tiers, it’ll be more interesting to see how they are actually applied when the time comes.

It seems to me with there being more “levels” as of August 2013, there is room for even greater subjective interpretation of where a violation should fall.

Does this really make the system better, or just convolute it to the point that more people will have to be involved to reach a consensus?

It’s impossible to know for sure, but I can promise you this:

Where coaches and recruiting coordinators have found a way to subvert the system in the past, they will find a way to do it again.

Consistent enforcement requires the consent of those who receive punishment, and regardless of what coaches will say on the record, off the record they’d be happy to tell you the NCAA is as much of an annoyance as a partner.

As much as things may change, in many ways, they will stay the same.


Kris Hughes is the College Football Network Manager for Rant Sports and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. You can follow him on Twitter or check out his Facebook page.

Kris is also the host of Rant Sports Radio on the Blog Talk Radio Network Wednesday evenings at 8 Central Time.