Head coaches can no longer pass the buck when their program gets caught cheating.
That’s according to this document, which was dug up by the good folks over at USA Today.
You can read the entire thing at the link above, but the gist of it: ignorance is no longer a defense for head football and basketball coaches. If your staff messes up and commits a violation, you pay the price, too.
The document reads, “A head coach is presumed responsible for major/Level I and Level II violations (e.g. academic fraud, recruiting inducements) occurring within his or her program unless the coach can show that he or she promoted an atmosphere of compliance and monitored his or her staff.”
Any coach who is found responsible for the most serious violations under those guidelines will be subject to an entire-season suspension, according to the document.
Perhaps the most interesting — and hoops relevant — part of the document has to do with unofficial recruiting visits:
the document states that a head coach should ask about how unofficial visits are paid for and advises head coaches to ask their assistants if they suspect a third party or handler is involved in the recruitment.
The document also makes clear that elite prospects should create “a heightened sense of awareness,” leading to closer monitoring by head coaches and compliance staffs.
Unofficial visits are at the crux of the Shabazz Muhammad eligibility case. When kids are flying across the country a couple of times a month to visit colleges unofficially, at some point someone needs to ask how they are paying for it.
This is a step that needed to be taken if the NCAA really wants to promote compliance. If one person goes down, the boss goes down.
But it’s probably not going to stop anyone from trying to skirt the rules.