Sunday, January 26, 2014

Guest Blog: Tim Epstein on NCAA rules and show clauses

"After last week's post on Bruce Pearl, Tim Epstein '99 and I had an offline conversation regarding show clauses and NCAA penalties. Tim, who teaches sports law and runs a sports law group, agreed to clarify some of the issues. His explanations run below."

What is a show-cause penalty and what does it entail?
-- NCAA bylaw 19.02.03: Show-Cause Order. A show-cause order is an order that requires a member institution (i.e. school or conference) to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Committee on Infractions (“COI”) why it should not be subject to a penalty or additional penalty for not taking appropriate disciplinary or corrective action with regard to an institutional staff member or representative of the institution’s athletics interests found by the Committee as having been involved in a violation of the NCAA Constitution and Bylaws.

This rule potentially leaves any school that wishes to employ an individual subject to a show-cause order, within the term of said show-cause order, to potential NCAA penalties at the institutional level. Therefore, if a school wishes to hire Bruce Pearl prior to the conclusion of his show-cause penalty, the school that hires him could face NCAA penalties based on Pearl’s NCAA violations while he was at Tennessee.

As a result, if BC hires Bruce Pearl as head coach and fails to show-cause for hiring him, BC could face NCAA penalties for violations that occurred while Pearl worked at a different school both in the form of

Pearl's penalties remaining in place as well as additional sanctions on BC.
So, to clear up a couple misconceptions: (1) a show-cause order does not require a NCAA member institution to fire the employee, nor does it (2) serve as a ban against a member institution from hiring the penalized coach/staff member.

What was the actual penalty against Bruce Pearl and the reason for the penalty?

Pearl received a three-year show-cause order, and three of his assistants were given one-year show-cause penalties. The COI singled out Pearl and his staff for giving misleading information about a cookout in 2008 that involved a junior in high school (current Ohio State guard Aaron Craft). Craft was on an unofficial visit and was not allowed to be at Pearl's home. The COI noted that Pearl said that attendance at the cookout was an NCAA violation and encouraged those who were there not to disclose it to others. Pearl then lied about the incident and called Craft's father to ask him to do so as well before finally telling the truth to NCAA investigators.

Pearl’s show cause penalty expires Aug. 23, 2014.

How would hiring Bruce Pearl prior to the expiration of his show cause penalty effect BC?

If BC wishes to hire Bruce Pearl before the expiration, BC must appear before the COI to show cause why BC should not be subject to penalties for hiring Bruce Pearl prior to the conclusion of his show-cause order.
If BC fails to show cause for hiring Pearl, (1) Pearl's current penalty would continue through the expiration date of the show-cause order, and (2) BC could face additional disciplinary actions and penalties from the COI.

Therefore, the far majority of the time, a member institution will not hire an individual currently serving out a show-cause penalty.

Would Bruce Pearl’s past transgressions still be penalized now?

Yes it would be. 13.02.4 defines what a contact is. A contact is any face-to-face encounter between a prospective student-athlete or the prospective student-athlete’s parents, relatives or legal guardians and an institutional staff member or athletics representative during which any dialogue occurs in excess of an exchange of a greeting. Any such face-to-face encounter that is prearranged (e.g., staff member positions himself or herself in a location where contact is possible) or that takes place on the grounds of the prospective student-athlete’s educational institution or at the site of organized competition or practice involving the prospective student-athlete or the prospective student-athlete’s high school, preparatory school, two-year college or all-star team shall be considered a contact, regardless of whether any conversation occurs. However, an institutional staff member or athletics representative who is approached by a prospective student-athlete or the prospective student-athlete’s parents, relatives or legal guardians at any location shall not be regarded as a contact, provided the encounter was not prearranged and the staff member or athletics representative does not engage in any dialogue in excess of a greeting and takes appropriate steps to immediately terminate the encounter. (Revised: 1/11/94 effective 8/1/94)

NCAA Bylaw in men’s basketball, off-campus recruiting of contacts shall not be made with an individual (or his relatives or legal guardians) before the opening day of his junior year in high school.

Contacts that occur during a prospective student-athlete’s junior year during recruiting periods other than the April recruiting period may occur only at the prospective student-athlete’s educational institution. During the April recruiting period of a prospective student-athlete’s junior year, contacts may occur at either the prospective student-athlete’s educational institution or residence. (Adopted: 10/27/11 effective 8/1/12)

At the time of Aaron Craft’s unofficial visit he was only in 11th grade. Therefore, the barbeque at Bruce Pearl’s house would still be a NCAA violation today, as would Pearl’s lying to NCAA investigators.
What may have changed if the violation occurred in 2014 is that the penalty levied against Pearl would have been shorter in duration.


EL MIZ said...

what are the current penalties at UT that could be applied to BC?

also, Pearl's penalty ends in 7 months (August 26th). so if BC were to hire him would penalties only last for 4 months?

finally, in reading these NCAA rules, its really laughable how much of a farce the institution is.

Mr. Tambourine MAn said...

Seems like a long way of saying, we won't be hiring Bruce Pearl. That is a real shame, other than Howland, best choice out there.

Hoib said...

So why not have an interim coach and hire him 8/27?

Joseph said...

"So why not have an interim coach and hire him 8/27?"

Interesting from three points1) Is he interested? 2) Has Bates interviewed him? 3) Is he the ONLY person who can get BC pointed in the right direction?

The attitude posted above seems to answer "yes" to all three questions. Based on opinion or knowledge?

Bravesbill said...

Once again Joseph you are distorting a statement to fit your own feelings. Number 1, that statement was made in response to Tambourine, who concluded that BC would not hire Pearl based on the NCAA rules. Another easy interpretation would be, if he is interested and the best qualified, why couldn't you have an interim until 8/27?

Joseph said...

Thanks, BB. My points didn't really matter, I guess since you have decided that I am trying to fit something into my "feelings" . Why not add another paragraph and tell us what my feelings are. But, no need. I'll tell you what they are rather than you take an uninformed guess.

This whole business seems to be rather similar to lots of opinions offered about the Spaz replacement. Too many people got fixated on certain names. It reminds me of what I call "trade radio" (sports call in shows) where people talk about solving team problems by trading for some star or other. Doesn't usually matter whether the trade is even possible. Just uninformed idle speculation. After all the talk about Spaz's replacement, not a word about wrong it all was. Daz wasn't even mentioned by all the Big Name dreamers.

It is so easy to speculate, but a little difficult to dig analytically instead of knee jerk fixation on a dream. Maybe pearl would be interested. Maybe bates would talk to him. Maybe we could go on cruise control until Pearl is available. Maybe.

mod34b said...

So the guy everyone wants - Pearl -

1. Violated NCAA recruiting rules by inviting a junior and his family to his house
2. Pearl knew at the time it was a violation of NCAA rules but did it anyway.
3. Contray to myth, this conduct is still a vioaltion of NCAA rules
4. At the time, Pearl told the recruit and his father it was a violation
5. Pearl lied about the events he knew to be NCAA violations to the authorities who controlled his career - the NCAA -- even going so far as to deny a picture taken inside his own home was his home. Really Bruce.
6. Pearl sought to get the recruit's father to lie about he matter.
7. Pearl only came clean after he was caught.
8. Pearl got his assistant coaches jammed up on this too. Nice guy Bruce.

Is Bates supposed to be able to trust Pearl? I would not trust Pearl. How could anyone trust this guy now? He need to take a D-III "rehab" job for 5 years.

And, if you can't be trusted, you can't coach at BC no matter what. I would expect nothing less from BC.

Do people really think we should hire Brue Pearl and actually trust him to "do the right thing"? Why are so many BC grads so willing to risk the intergrity of BC so cavalierly?

Big Jack Krack said...

I wasn't even going to comment, but since this won't go away, I guess I will.

I'm with Mod.

I would be shocked if BC gave this guy so much as a sniff.

I know if I were in a position of responsibility, I would not consider Bruce Pearl at all.

Let's move on.

Tim Epstein said...

The penalties would be the restrictions that Pearl has on him that do not allow him to actually perform the full duties of a head men's basketball coach, namely recruiting.

Without speaking to the wisdom of hiring an interim coach, there is certainly nothing in NCAA rules preventing BC from doing so.

Joseph said...

There is more to judging right and wrong than simply what is legal or within the rules.

If having Pearl is the only way to salvage this disaster then we are in serious trouble. I am sure that Bates can go far beyond what some see as our salvation.

Joseph said...

There is more to judging right and wrong than simply what is legal or within the rules.

If having Pearl is the only way to salvage this disaster then we are in serious trouble. I am sure that Bates can go far beyond what some see as our salvation.

Hoib said...


Thanks for the clarification. So it seems doable.

For those of you turning up your noes at Pearl, who do you propose? We are in the toughest hoops conference in the country w/ Louisville on the way. The Boy Scout we currently have has made us the laughing stock of division one.

Napolean Bonaparte said...

I want Pearl. I have no qualms about him. If Bates can't keep him within the rules and under control, then find someone who can. The folks who don't want him are insufferable holier than thou cumquats who should all be lobotomized and put in a barn somewhere.

Joseph said...

Wow, how about this stuff from what may be a BC grad. They used to prize critical thinking, but obviously they were not able to get some to think at all. So you want a Pearl regardless. Have you ever interviewed him? who else did you consider and interview?

Hoib said...


Who do u want?

Lenny Sienko said...

March 19, 2005-- Milwaukee Panthers 83--Boston College Eagles 75

Craig Smith scored 25 points and Dudley had 22 -- 18 on free throws -- for Boston College, making another early tournament exit. The Eagles began the season 20-0.

The Panthers did it with a relentless, full-court press forcing 22 turnovers.

Bruce Pearl's Panthers played exciting, winning basketball. The contrast with Skinner's version of flex offense couldn't been greater.

From that game forward, a lot of BC people have been watching Pearl. I would like to see him bring his winning formula to BC to revive his alma mater's hoops program.

JBQ said...

Aaron Craft is a very good player who will play in the pros. This was a three year penalty for one BBQ where the dad was with his son. The uncle of Cam Newton from a reliable source received 400K. Do ya think that there might be a difference? The NCAA is a crooked organization. Dr. Mark Emmert is a hypocrite with long range monetary ambition. I am also quizzical on this early signing issue. My high school had a set curriculum for which I was locked in until May. How are these individuals walking away from high school short of credits? The newest craze is on-line credits. Behanen of Louisville was kicked out by Pettino. He surfaced at Colorado State and will not attend class but take on-line courses. He will play next December. How many athletes are now playing and no one ever sees them in class? Who takes their exams for them? One loop hole after another for the making of money and where is the NCAA?

mod34b said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GP11 said...

Word to the wise... stop asking Joseph what he wants or what he thinks. His sole purpose for commenting on this blog is to show his intellectual and moral superiority to everyone here. He thinks the comments are a forum for high-class debate techniques that will somehow cause everyone admit defeat to his greatness or get people to say something indefensibly stupid and lose their respectibility... In other words, he's a troll.

Joseph said...

Good advice that you should follow GP11. Never fight with someone who is much better armed. Never use your reasoning ability. Never get past your emotions and shallowness. And, always jump on the bandwagon pulled by a bunch of knee jerk win at all cost boosters. Boring.

mod34b said...

GP11, Kuquats are fruits -- no one would put fruit in a barn and a fruit can't be lobotomized.

Were you lobotomized recently?

Bravesbill said...

Using the same logic as Mod and Joseph, St. Peter couldn't be trusted to be the rock of the Catholic Church either.

CT said...

I can feel the love on this blog. It's radiating.

With friendly fellow alums like this, who needs ND?

CT said...

This kumquat doesn't think honing in on one candidate is the smart thing to do. Leads to disappointment.

GP11 said...

Mod, I don't recall calling anyone a kuquat nor did I say cumquat as Napoleon did above? Not really sure what you're referring to there.

And Joseph once again you don't answer the questions people ask you... You don't debate, you just attempt to strike down other's opinions and raise your ego in the process. What bandwagon am I on? At what point was I shallow? And getting past my emotions? Logic: Bruce Pearl is an extremely successful coach. He has won at multiple schools with various levels of talent. He is an alum. I believe he can turn the program around. He also screwed up. Big time. To the point where he cost himself his job, his reputation, and a 5 year ~$10 million contract. Those are all extremely significant punishments. I believe he deserves a second chance. It has now been 3 years. He has been away from the game but following closely most recently as an analyst. He has the skills, he has the history, he has the desire, he has done his penance and paid the price for his wrongdoings. That is my logic. That is my reasoning ability. Now please, go ahead and poke holes where you want. Prove your moral and intellectual superiority by debasing mine. If you have an actual opinion on who should be hired or what direction the program should go, please share. Otherwise, troll away.

Joseph said...

GP11, I have no idea why you think that I have or should have a strongly(or weakly) held opinion about who should replace SD. I feel strongly that SD should be replace. I don't need to spend time speculating about that over which I have no control. If you choose to do so, have at it. If it makes you feel like you're part of the process then good for you.

I don't happen to know Bruce Pearl. I do agree that he has paid dearly for his knowingly and willingly breaking the rules and asking others to lie along with him. I don't know, and I'll wager that neither do you, if he is suitable to be the BC coach. He has proven that he can recruit and coach at our level. He has also proven (and paid for getting caught) that he can cheat at our level. Bates may choose to talk with him. Not because you or any other posters say so, but because that is his job. It is even possible that if he fires SD and talks with Pearl that he may find him to be suitable. I don't know and you don't know.

Now if the above offends you because I choose to make an effort to be reasonably thoughtful, then don't read anything I write because that is my style. Logic and reason are valuable commodities to me. Speculation doesn't do a thing for me. Telling others how to do their jobs when I have no responsibility or control will be left to others. You can hire whoever you like. But, Bates might not agree.

mod34b said...

GP11, my apologies, the kumquat basher was the reckless Bonaparte.

ps. you are giving Joseph too much credit.

Joseph said...

C'mom M34b. Too much credit? Never can be too much.

Hoib said...

Gp11 and Bravesbill

You two are super.
Too bad my only entertainment this hoops season is on this blog!
I'll be back for more punishment tomorrow, might be our last good chance for a win in the onahue era.

Jeff said...

Okay so schools have to "show cause" why they shouldn't be penalizing for hiring the guy. What would qualify as an acceptable cause? Are there any precedents for schools hiring someone on a show-cause order, yet not being penalized?

As in-depth as this post was, it didn't answer this crucial question.