Conference, NCAA penalties could lead to civil penalties

NCAA LogoBy Bob Eschliman


Penalties handed down by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, or by its affiliated conferences, are rarely the subject of legislative scrutiny, but a bill offered in the Iowa House of Representatives may change that.

House File 220, authored last week by state Rep. Megan Jones (R-Sioux Rapids) would requires all NCAA-affiliated colleges and universities – including Drake University and the three Regents institutions – to submit documentation to the Iowa Finance Authority of any monetary penalties that are a direct result of the actions of a university employee. The bill would then require the IFA to assess a civil penalty upon the employee equal to the monetary penalty imposed upon the institution.

Those monies would be refunded back to the institutions by IFA. The bill includes a process to contest civil penalties, including judicial review.

NCAA regulations are notoriously onerous, and even the “cleanest” programs find themselves reporting “minor violations” to the sanctioning body. A report last year indicated Iowa’s three public universities were faring better than their rivals in the Big Ten, Big 12, and Missouri Valley conferences.