Does Florida State already have its sanctions in hand? Parsing the NCAA Bylaws

No announcement has been made on the punishments resulting from "Music appreciatorgate", but there is reason to believe that the NCAA has already handed down its punishment to FSU.  

As you probably know, Florida State is due to lose some scholarships and possibly forfeit some games as a result of the scandal.

FSU officials initially expected to receive notification before Christmas.  As of 1.08.09, nobody has announced anything.  So why do we now believe that FSU has in fact received notice of the committee's action?  

We've been tracking the committee's progress via the website.  Yesterday, MattDNole tried to log in, and received this message:

Your Name: 
Who should receive the password in an e-mail? 
Director of Athletics, Mr. Randall Spetman
Faculty Athletics Representative, Dr. Joe Beckham
Senior Woman Administrator, Ms. Kellie Elliott
Compliance Coordinator, Mr. Brian J. Battle
Sports Information Director, Mrs. Tina Dechausay

Yesterday around 2PM Eastern, only those five FSU employees could log in to view what we'd been reading for days.  This seemed pretty off


Let's have a review of the relevant NCAA Bylaws

32.9.1 Infractions Report. The Committee on Infractions, without prior public announcement, shall be
obligated to submit promptly an infractions report, to the chancellor or president of the institution (with copies to
those individuals receiving copies of the notice of allegations) and to all involved individuals, as defined in Bylaw 32.1.5.

The following procedures shall apply to the infractions report:

(a) After an institutional hearing, the Committee on Infractions shall prepare and approve the final infractions
report; (Revised: 10/12/94)
(b) The infractions report(s) of the Committee on Infractions and the Infractions Appeals Committee shall contain
a consolidated statement of all findings and penalties, corrective actions, requirements, and other conditions
and obligations of membership imposed on an institution found in violation of NCAA legislation.
The statement of such actions shall include, but not be limited to, the penalties imposed on the institution,
eligibility rules to be applied, applicable executive regulations, the adjustment of individual and team standings
in NCAA championship events, and the request for the return of any awards and net receipts received for
participation in an NCAA championship; and (Revised: 10/12/94, 4/24/03, 1/13/08)
(c) The Committee on Infractions' infractions report shall be sent to the chancellor or president of the involved
institution and any involved individuals under the chair's signature or under the signature of a Committee
on Infractions member selected to act for the chair. In addition, the Committee on Infractions will notify all
involved individuals directly of the appeal opportunities outlined in Bylaws 32.9 and 32.10. The report shall
be sent by overnight mail service, and the Committee on Infractions' administrator shall confirm receipt by
the institution and involved individuals in order that the 15-day appeal period applicable to this report may
be established. (Revised: 10/12/94, 3/8/06, 1/13/08)

32.9.1 basically means that the committee will send the report to the university upon completion.  Once the University signs that they have received the package, their 15-day window to appeal begins to run.


What about us?  We want to see the report!  Just how bad did the committee smack TK for his inept handling of the situation?  Do they take kindly to Cowboy politics?

Luckily, rule 32.9.2 addresses this:

32.9.2 Release to Media. Once the infractions report has been received by the institution and involved individuals, the report, with names of individuals deleted, shall be made available to the national wire services and other media outlets. (Revised: 1/13/08) Public Comment Prior to Release. The Committee on Infractions' public announcement related to an infractions case shall be made available to the national wire services and other media outlets. In this regard, the involved institution and/or any involved individuals shall be advised of the text of the announcement prior to its release and shall be requested not to comment publicly concerning the case prior to the time the NCAA's public announcement is released. (Revised: 4/24/03) Public Announcement and Comment at Release. The chair or a member of the Committee on Infractions shall make the Committee on Infractions' public announcement related to major infractions when the Committee on Infractions determines that an announcement is warranted in addition to distribution of the written report.

There we go.  FSU gets to look this over a bit before the NCAA makes their announcement.


When can we expect to get our hands on this?

If the University does have it as we suspect, I think we can expect to get this Friday, Monday, or Tuesday.

It wouldn't make sense for FSU to release this while UF is playing for the National Championship.  Tomorrow or Monday are a better PR move.

The sooner the better, however, as we need to get a better grip on the scholarship numbers we are working with.  


What do I think will happen?

I think the punishments we suggested were too light.  FSU proposed that they should lose 2 scholarships in 2009 and 3 in 2010.

I think we will see a middle ground between these two extremes:

WORST CASE: FSU loses 18 scholarships over 3 years and forfiets all wins from the 2007 season.

BEST CASE: The NCAA does not add any additional sanctions to the previously proposed punishment.

PROBABLE: FSU loses 8 scholarships over 3 years and no forfieture of games.

* I definitely expect the scholarship reductions to last at least three years and not the two years FSU recommended.

This could be a very interesting Friday...

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