Decision for Baylor's Jones upheld
Jones must be withheld from six games and repay benefits
The NCAA Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement has upheld the staff decision for Baylor University men’s basketball student-athlete Perry Jones III. The student-athlete must be withheld from six contests and repay the amount of impermissible benefits received to a charity of his choice. Jones has already sat out one game of the withholding condition.
The reinstatement committee is the final appeal opportunity. The independent committee is composed of representatives from NCAA member colleges, universities and athletic conferences. It can reduce or remove the conditions, but cannot increase the conditions imposed by the staff.
According to the facts of the case, which were agreed upon by the university, the impermissible benefits were requested by a nonscholastic coach and provided by a NFL player. Specifically, the NFL player provided airfare, lodging and tickets to a NFL preseason exhibition game in August 2010 for the student-athlete. During this trip, Jones’ nonscholastic coach also provided ground transportation and meals. In addition, the NFL player provided Jones’ parents three separate loans. Jones’ parents repaid each of these loans.
The university submits and must agree to all facts of the case before the NCAA staff or appeal decision can be made. Reinstatement decisions are made based on withholding guidelines developed by the reinstatement committee of NCAA members, as well as any mitigating factors presented by the university. The staff decision on this case acknowledged the mitigating circumstances provided by the university and provided some relief from the guideline of 30 percent or nine games.
During its appeal, Baylor University acknowledged that each of the violations occurred, but disagreed that the total amount of the loan should be included in the value of the benefits received. Instead, the university asserted that only a reasonable rate of interest should be calculated and viewed as the value of the loan benefit. While Baylor disagreed with the total loan value put forth by the NCAA, it did agree that the student-athlete received more than $700 in impermissible benefits. The standard withholding guideline for this value is 20 percent of a season or six games in this case, which is the penalty imposed for the student-athlete and upheld by the committee. The school stated that the penalty should be reduced further due to the circumstances of the case. However the university did not present any information to address the violations involving the trip, and this value in itself constitutes a withholding condition of 10 percent or three games.
While the university and others have attempted to compare this case to other recent decisions, each is reviewed based on its own merits as every situation includes a distinctive set of facts. In this specific case, the student-athlete and his family actually received benefits, including the trip.
Based on the timing of Baylor’s request for reinstatement, the first contest of the withholding condition was the initial game of the Big 12 conference tournament on March 10. Because of this, the policy established in 2005 allowing a suspension of the withholding for an NCAA championship under limited circumstances did not apply.
On multiple occasions starting in January, the NCAA notified Baylor University of potential eligibility issues with the student-athlete. It wasn’t until March 7 that Baylor declared Jones ineligible and sought reinstatement from the NCAA. After immediately reviewing the request and also having to seek additional information, the NCAA student-athlete reinstatement staff received the final information it requested on the evening of March 8 and verbally issued its decision the morning of March 9. The appellate committee heard the case yesterday and issued a decision today. A full timeline is below.
* November 2010: Baylor receives information of potential violation.
* Wednesday, December 22, 2010: Baylor contacts NCAA about information reported to the university.
* Wednesday, December 29, 2010: Interviews begin.
* January – February 2011: On multiple occasions, NCAA requests a specific set of information from Baylor.
* January 27, 2011: NCAA notifies Baylor of potential eligibility issues.
* Friday, February 18, 2011: Baylor provides a portion of the requested information.
* Friday, March 4, 2011: Baylor provides the set of facts for the case.
* Monday, March 7, 2011: Baylor declares student-athlete ineligible and seeks reinstatement in the evening. NCAA reviews the request and seeks additional information.
* Tuesday, March 8, 2011: Baylor provides additional information into the evening.
* Wednesday, March 9, 2011: NCAA staff notifies university of eligibility decision.
* Wednesday, March 16: Appellate hearing with NCAA Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement.
* Thursday, March 17: NCAA notifies Baylor University of its decision.
More information on the NCAA student-athlete reinstatement process can be found here.