Monday, October 26, 2009

Notice of Inquiry

Michigan received a Notice of Inquiry from the NCAA today concerning the potential NCAA violations. USA Today explains (emphasis mine):

According to the NCAA's website, a "notice of inquiry" is issued when NCAA investigators conclude they have "reasonable cause to believe that the institution may have violated NCAA rules."

The NCAA Manual, Bylaw 32.5 states: "If the enforcement staff has developed reasonably reliable information indicating that an institution has been in violation of NCAA legislation that requires further investigation, the enforcement staff shall provide a notice of inquiry in writing to the chancellor or president."

Another section of the NCAA's website states that such an inquiry is launched when there is enough evidence indicating "an intentional violation has occurred, that a significant competitive…advantage may have been gained, or that false or misleading information may have been reported to the institution or the enforcement staff."

The notice of inquiry generally lays out for university officials the nature of the potential violations, the time period in which they occurred, the individuals involved, and the approximate time frame the investigation will take. The NCAA does not release the notice of inquiry to the public but makes clear that any school, including U-M, may release it on its own.

If no violations are ultimately found, the NCAA will notify the school in writing.

If the NCAA concludes that a major violation has taken place at U-M, it will send a "notice of allegations" with specific allegations of violations. The NCAA is required to give the school a status update on its investigation within six months of issuing its notice of inquiry.

This is news only insofar as Michigan hasn't been completely cleared. Now it's a waiting game. This is still a bit disconcerting that, ya know, they haven't completely cleared us. But if the previous analysis of the situation, the handling of voluntary and nonvolutary hours was done correctly by Michigan's staff, and there's adequate documentation that the players and coaches never broke the rules (and given the reputed history of Michigan compliance team, this shouldn't be an issue), we're probably in the clear here.

The real news will be whether or not the University releases this Notice of Inquiry to the public. My guess is that they won't and we'll just have to wait. Plus I don't know quite how much we'd learn besides what players in particular may have exceeded the hour limit. Time to wait and see.


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