Procedures for Reviewing and Reporting Potential Rules Violations

Brown is committed to maintaining the integrity of its intercollegiate athletics program, sports teams, coaches and student-athletes. This commitment and obligation extends to the operation of the athletics department in adherence to the Principles of Institutional Control and Rules Compliance, consistent with the spirit of NCAA, Ivy League, and University rules and regulations. Proper control of the athletics program is maintained through:

  • Responsible actions by athletics department staff members, administrators, faculty, and other University entities.
  • The education of coaches, staff members, student-athletes, and other individuals involved with the operation of the athletics program;
  • The development of clear and effective operating systems within the athletics department and the University that provide guidance in how to successfully work within existing rules.
  • The monitoring of these systems to ensure that all athletically-related functions are carried out within the scope and intent of applicable regulations.

Important Definitions
Secondary Violation

A secondary violation is one that provides only a limited recruiting advantage and that is isolated or inadvertent in nature (as defined in Bylaw Repeated secondary violations by a member-institution also may be identified by the NCAA staff as a major violation. If the Committee on Infractions determines that repeated secondary violations have occurred and that the institution is not taking appropriate action to prevent such violations, a penalty appropriate for a major violation may be imposed.

Major Violation
All violations other than secondary violations are major violations, specifically including those that provide an extensive recruiting or competitive advantage (as defined in Bylaw


The NCAA Constitution and Bylaws represent a complex set of regulations. Compliance efforts are continuous, and while the ultimate goal is to prevent all violations, a compliance program that encourages self-reporting and conducts monitoring activities should report several violations each year. Self-reporting these violations reflect a solid program of institutional control and is important for several reasons. Immediate awareness of possible alleged violations provides an opportunity for the department to correct situations before they develop into a major infraction.  Immediate awareness also identifies areas that can be addressed in departmental policy and/or continuing education programs. Unidentified problems, on the other hand, cannot be corrected. 

Each individual (e.g. athletic department staff member, student-athlete, University employee, representative of athletic interests, member of the Brown community) involved in the operation of the athletics program is obligated to report to the Athletic Director or Compliance Staff any alleged, rumored or suspected violation of NCAA, Ivy League, or Brown rules of which he or she is aware. Reports may be made verbally or in writing and may also be made anonymously. 

In accordance with NCAA rules and regulations, all suspected or alleged violations of NCAA rules shall be investigated. After initial notification, the Associate Athletic Director for Compliance will conduct a preliminary investigation in order to ascertain whether or not there has been a violation, and to determine the nature and scope of the possible violation. An emphasis is placed on executing this process in as timely a manner as possible. The Associate Athletic Director for Compliance will confer with the Senior Associate Athletic Director, the Athletic Director and Ivy League representatives when needed to determine if there appears to have been an NCAA or Ivy League rules violation. 

If, after an evaluation of the facts and relevant NCAA legislation, it is determined that a violation has occurred, the Associate Athletic Director for Compliance will initiate a comprehensive investigation. During this discovery period, all parties involved will be interviewed and written notes of the interviews and the investigation will be kept. Staff members and student-athletes participating in verbal interviews will be advised that Bylaw 10.1 on unethical conduct applies to the investigation. In addition, the individual (s) involved may be asked to provide a complete and written statement about the violation to the Compliance Office to be kept in a permanent file. All files will be housed in the Compliance Office. The Director of Athletics is responsible for overseeing all institutional investigations and the Associate Athletic Director for Compliance will keep the Director of Athletics informed of pertinent events surrounding any investigation.

If uncertainty exists with regard to rules interpretations, then the NCAA and Ivy League offices will be consulted. During the review, the Compliance Office will review similar internal reports, NCAA case precedent and appropriate NCAA and Ivy League resources in order to determine an appropriate penalty. Once a thorough review has taken place and the information is confirmed with all involved parties, the Associate Athletic Director for Compliance is responsible for preparing a report to the Ivy League and/or the NCAA. The self-report will include, at a minimum, the following information:

  • The date and relevant timeline of the violation.
  • The identities of the individuals (prospects, student-athletes, coaches, staff members, etc.) who were involved in the violation.
  • The means by which the institution became aware of the violation.
  • An explanation of the circumstances surrounding the violation, including any mitigating factors.
  • The cause(s) of the violation.
  • A list of corrective and/or punitive actions taken by the institution in response to the violation.

The Associate Athletic Director for Compliance is responsible for ensuring that all corrective actions are clearly communicated to the appropriate individuals and that they are carried out and that documentation of such is kept in the permanent file.

Procedures for Investigating a Major Violation
If, based on the evaluation of facts gathered during the internal investigation, the potential for a major violation exists, the Director of Athletics will immediately inform the Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services and the President. In addition, the Office of General Counsel will be consulted.  The Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services or President may form an investigative committee that could consist of the Faculty Athletic Representative, representatives of the Office of General Counsel, representatives of the Office of the Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services, members of the Department of Athletics and Members of the Campus Life Subcommittee for Athletics and Physical Education. NCAA and/or Ivy League investigatory assistance will be solicited as circumstances warrant. In addition, the Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services may elect to retain outside consultants to assist in the investigative and reporting process. Ultimately, the Director of Athletics is responsible for determining if a violation occurred. If the investigation reveals no violation of NCAA, Conference, or University regulations, such finding is to be documented by the Associate Director of Athletics for Compliance.

Alleged Violations Involving Other NCAA Institutions
If an individual has knowledge of an alleged violation that involves another NCAA member institution, he/she may report the alleged violation to the Compliance Office. The Associate Athletic Director for Compliance will discuss how best to address the situation with the individual who has lodged the accusation, Brown coaching staff members in the involved sport, and other departmental staff members, as necessary. After evaluating the allegation, the Associate Athletic Director for Compliance may then contact the Director of Compliance at the accused member institution to request that the alleged violation be investigated. In some cases, the Associate Athletic Director for Compliance or the Director of Athletics may choose to communicate directly with the Ivy League office or NCAA enforcement staff and request that they contact the accused institution or that institution's conference.  In any case, the outcome of such a report will not be reported back to the person who initially raised the issue.

To report a potential rules violation or if you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact the compliance office.