Wednesday, August 18, 2021

IARP rule changes could alter timeline for ruling in KU basketball infractions case

A rack of NCAA basketballs sit inside an empty Allen Fieldhouse before the Jayhawks' game against West Virginia on Dec. 22, 2020.

A rack of NCAA basketballs sit inside an empty Allen Fieldhouse before the Jayhawks' game against West Virginia on Dec. 22, 2020.


Two full years into its existence, and still without making a ruling on any of its cases, the NCAA’s Independent Accountability Resolutions Process has tweaked its rules in an effort to speed things up.

The independent accountability oversight committee recommended the changes, according to an NCAA release.

The NCAA’s infractions case against the University of Kansas men’s basketball program, which includes allegations of five Level 1 infractions, a charge of head coach responsibility and a tag of lack of institutional control, is one of six cases currently being reviewed by the IARP.

The IARP agreed to accept KU’s case on July 1, 2020, per the IARP website.

In late April, the NCAA said that all six active IARP cases would be resolved within the next 12 months.

But the recent tweaks to the process could significantly alter that timeline for all six schools.

Approved by the Division I board of directors earlier this month, the rule changes cover two key areas.

The first has to do with the Complex Case Units that review and rule on each of the cases after they are accepted on to the IARP track.

The new rules stipulate that the IARP’s CCUs are required to use the investigative work passed on to them by the NCAA’s enforcement staff “unless the unit can demonstrate a compelling reason why additional investigation is required.”

Previously, the IARP had full authority to do as much additional investigation as it deemed necessary — even to the point of repeating what was done before — to both get a handle on and make a ruling on a case.

“The oversight committee, which has expressed concerns about the delay in the resolution of cases referred to the independent process, determined that much of the delay is the result of efforts by the Complex Case Unit to 're-investigate' cases that the enforcement staff thoroughly investigated,” an NCAA release said. “Accepting the enforcement staff's results will speed (up) the process significantly without compromising the goals of the Independent Accountability Resolution Process, committee members think.”

According to IARP spokesperson Amy Hanna, this change only applies to future IARP cases, meaning that whatever work the CCU has done relating to KU’s case thus far can still be used to reach a resolution.

The second change focuses on transparency, as the board of directors also voted to develop and publish timelines related to each of the cases to “provide transparency and improve credibility.”

In May of 2020, Naima Stevenson Starks, the vice president of hearing operations for the NCAA, told the Journal-World that, in the interest of transparency, the NCAA would announce “a limited public disclosure when a case is accepted into the IARP,” and would have no other comment until a ruling was handed down.

According to Hanna, case timelines are expected to be created in the coming weeks and made public by the end of September.

All rulings by the IARP are final and not subject to appeal, which is different from rulings handed down by the more traditional NCAA Committee on Infractions.

According to a news release announcing the new procedures, all changes are effective immediately.


Dale Rogers 10 months, 1 week ago

So much for the independence of the IARP. I would be ok with the iARP being allowed to include the NCAA investigative documents in their research but not when they are "required" to use it unless they can demonstrate compelling reasons to not use it. I do not trust the NCAA investigations. We already know how vindictive those investigations can be, how prone to ignoring facts that don't support their case, etc.

The IARP has now become a puppet of the NCAA, one whose decisions are final with no recourse for disagreement.

Dirk Medema 10 months, 1 week ago

Which September?

It’s kind crazy how all this streamlining works out.

It would also seem more difficult for them to come down as hard if the rules are changing.

Benny Armstrong 10 months, 1 week ago

It will definitely be interesting to see how the IARP decides to rule on these cases considering the implementation of NIL since these cases were initially opened several years ago. While not a perfect analogy, this would be similar to finding a defendant guilty of a crime, say drug possession, after the law has been changed and that activity is no longer a criminal offense.

At the time, the activity was illegal/impermissible, but should you punish someone under the prior or current laws/rules? It would definitely present some PR issues for the NCAA if they come down hard on any of the schools and severely punish what is now permissible, however we all know the NCAA lacks any self-awareness regarding its reputation. The additional difference I'll note though is that it is still not permissible for coaches/schools to direct these payments to student athletes as an inducement to sign with them, which is one of the major points the NCAA was trying to prove, that Self and his staff were directing Gassnola to make these payments on their behalf. So I suppose the NCAA could punish KU for that behavior if it was able to prove more than a casual link with vague texts and assumptions about what we should have known was happening.

I've definitely got my crimson and blue glasses on hoping it'll be a small penalty if anything at all, but I fear the NCAA has it out for us and will use any means necessary to "get" us. Hope I'm wrong though!

Rodney Crain 10 months, 1 week ago

Not sure I have much faith in AARP, sorry IARP. Sounds like they need help.

Matt can you contact Amy Hanna at IARP and have her forward you the files? We can split them up here and help with the investigation and ruling. We will be completely unbiased, they can trust us on this.

What's up with all the Hy-phen's -- inde-pendent, re-investigate, cas-es, Pro-cess, on-ly.

Matt Tait 10 months, 1 week ago

Didn't catch that. Thanks! That's been happening some when we copy and paste to or from the LJWorld site.

Kenneth Johnson 10 months, 1 week ago

What a bunch of crap! The NCAA has put KU on hold for over two years, which has negatively affected recruiting for two seasons -- all for nothing, except to damage KU's reputation.

It all likely came about because someone at the NCAA had a beef with KU, and have tried to make something out of nothing - at least nothing that they could come up with in TWO years.

Kenn Johnson, Ph.D. (KU MS '70)

Rodney Schulz 10 months, 1 week ago

The NCAA Will do anything they can to hurt any school that is not in a major media market. Lawrence and even Kansas City are not major media markets. Thus, the NCAA Will do everything they can to hurt KU.

Barry Weiss 10 months, 1 week ago

I still think we will NOT get hammered.

Dirk Medema 10 months, 1 week ago

Kenn - I think the ncaa’s beef goes back to several cases/players that got suspended by KU when allegations became public but left school without proof of anything. (?Alexander, the car accident kid?, ...) It seems to me that’s why they went so hard after the federal “evidence” that wasn’t admissible in court, because their rules have none of the balances of our legal system.

There will have to be penalties because that’s how power systems work. Guessing it will be similar to SDS’s penalty that was egregious excessive and commuted to time served.

Robert Robinson 10 months, 1 week ago

So basically, IARP is now the ARP. They just took the independence out of it. Maybe they should just change the name to NCAA Jr. Do as daddy says and everything will be alright

Robin Smith 10 months, 1 week ago

What work could they possibly be doing day in and day out? People do far more complicated and difficult tasks much more quickly than this all the time.

Rodney Crain 10 months, 1 week ago

Well, there are meetings to talk about what to hold the next meeting about. There are staff concerns, especially anyone who is doing anything needs to be reassigned to something that does nothing. There is always new training before these folks can start their new job. Just knowing who is bringing in the 1st breakfast, 2nd breakfast, and 3rd breakfast for the next day takes an hour. Lunch, another hour, there are mandatory naps between 2-4pm, and then cake and well thats a full day in and a day out. Typical Corporate office stuff.

Greg Lux 9 months, 4 weeks ago

My concern is how do you find that the NCAA's investigative work is not accurate without doing your own investigation? ...

Commenting has been disabled for this item.