Notices of allegations coming after hoops scandal

WASHINGTON -- Following the highly publicized FBI investigation into corruption in college basketball, the NCAA's role will soon become more apparent, as notices of allegations "will be coming," Kevin Lennon, the NCAA's vice president of Division I Governance, said Wednesday.

"You don't get in the way of a federal investigation," he said during a meeting of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. "Activity was going on during that span that was within our purview, but now that the court cases are done, now we're in a position where you're likely to see notices of allegations going to institutions that have violated NCAA rules, etc. I think you can anticipate notices of allegations will be coming."

Lennon declined to give any specific timetable, other than "in due time and I think fairly quickly."

The NCAA launched investigations into at least Arizona, Kansas, NC State and Louisville following the October trials. They have requested all documents the schools submitted to the federal government in response to subpoenas and have conducted interviews on and off campus.

"One of the tricky parts is that third parties were predominantly identified by the Southern District of New York," Lennon said. "That's a very challenging aspect. Third parties who were a primary focus of the investigation are not compelled or may [not] even be interested in speaking to the NCAA, so that represents a challenge, but activity has been going on and you're going to see the fruits of that NCAA structure in due time and I think fairly quickly."

Wednesday's meeting agenda focused heavily on college basketball and the changes that will or already have been implemented as a direct result of the Rice Commission's report in April 2018.

"In our view, the NCAA stepped up and we see real impact," Knight Commission co-chair Carol A. Cartwright said. "We see what they are done and are impressed with the list that's been created so far of real action."

There has been some public backlash, though, as former Louisville coach Rick Pitino is the only head coach who has been fired.

One of reforms that resulted from the Knight Commission was accountability, and stated that coaches and staff "face significant penalties if they break the rules." But Notre Dame coach Mike Brey, who was on a panel Wednesday and is the president of the board of directors for the NABC, wanted to know why "there's been no hammer from the top of campus."

Brey asked, "Why hasn't an athletic director or a president acted in some of these current cases?" He later clarified that he wasn't referring to any one specific coach or incident.

"I think a lot of our coaches want to know why hasn't the hammer come down? I'm a little naïve to it. Is it legal stuff? A lot of lawyers? I think our profession would love to see the hammer be dropped on some of these situations. We need an explosion back."

Knight Commission co-chair Arne Duncan said there has been "an absence of strong leadership" at all levels.

"I think those are all very fair critiques," Duncan said. "There's also the question Mike raised for the coaches themselves, could they regulate themselves? Could they police themselves? Coaches, ADs, presidents ... there are lots of points here where people could step up, provide some leadership and some moral authority that has far too often been really lacking."

Cartwright said it's up to the campuses to "send those strong signals because tone at the top really matters."

"When you release a coach for reasons other than W's, you send a pretty important signal about the values in your program," she said.

Lennon said that campuses are free to make their own decisions based on the information they have available -- without any input from the NCAA.

"Those are decisions campuses make all of the time as they evaluate the credibility of the information they receive from staff members," he said, "and those are institutional determinations they need to make that are independent of the notice of allegation requirements."