Today we will be discussing what to do when a member of your institution becomes aware of a violation at another NAIA member institution. This situation is covered by NAIA Bylaws Article VI, Section B, Part 3, which states:
“Should any chief executive officer, faculty athletics representative, athletics director and/or coach become aware of an apparent institutional violation involving an athlete or institutional representative of any member institution, it shall be the responsibility of the individual to notify their athletics director and faculty athletics representative of that violation immediately.”
This means that if any of the people listed above become aware of a violation at another NAIA institution, that individual is required by our bylaws to notify the athletic director and faculty athletics representative at their institution immediately. For example Steve from School A becomes aware of a violation at School B. Steve should notify the athletic director and faculty athletics representative at his school, School A, as soon as possible. This could include email. If you are unsure if a bylaw was violated, please feel free to contact Legislative Services with your questions or concerns. We will assist you in taking the next steps in the process.
The next part of the rule states:
“The athletics director or faculty athletics representative, upon being notified, shall contact in writing the athletics director and faculty athletics representative at the institution in question and send copies of the notification to the National Office and the eligibility chair. This notification shall take place within five days of receiving the information. Failure to abide by any part of this regulation shall be viewed as unethical conduct and shall cause an investigation by the National Conduct and Ethics Committee for appropriate action against the institution for withholding information.”
Once again, the athletics director or faculty athletics representative must contact the athletics director and the faculty athletics representative at the alleged school. The eligibility chair and the national office need to also be included in any correspondence from the school that is reporting the violation. When reporting a potential violation it is important to have a good idea that a violation has actually occurred. To best suit your needs, Legislative Services should only be brought in when a reporting school has more than a hunch that a violation has occurred.
A failure to notify these parties within the five day window could lead to an ethics violation for the reporting school. When the communication has been made, Legislative Services will step in and help to determine if a potential violation occurred. We will also act as an intermediary between the parties, initially.
Article VI, Section B, Part 3 also provides an avenue for an institution to lodge a protest challenging the eligibility of a potential student. Prior to filing the protest, the protesting school must know that a violation has occurred and the violation can be documented. When a protest against a specific student is filed it must be done so at least 15 days before an NAIA championship event in order to be considered prior to the NAIA national event. The reason for the time frame is prevent gamesmanship.
THE ROLE OF THE NATIONAL OFFICE
When the national office has been contacted about a potential violation, we will make sure that the accused institution has been properly notified. Once the national office has been made aware of the potential violation, Legislative Services will assist in determining which bylaw, if any, has been violated. We will work with the institution in question to determine if a violation has occurred. Legislative Services will maintain a line of communication with all parties involved until a decision is made by the NEC. It is NAIA policy not to share NEC decisions with anyone besides the offending institution.
The Legislative Services department acknowledges that this can be a tricky and awkward area to dive into. We are here to help you navigate this process and make sure that all bylaws are followed. The purpose of the rules and this particular bylaw is to ensure a level playing field and transparency with our member institutions. As always, please do not hesitate to call or email should you have any questions. We will be doing our weekly Facebook Live presentation on Tuesday, August 1, 2017, at noon central, we hope to see you there!