Virginia Tech is solidly committed to maintaining the integrity of its intercollegiate athletics program, sports teams, coaches and student-athletes. This commitment and obligation extends to the operation of the athletics department in adherence to the principle of Institutional Control, consistent with the spirit of NCAA, ACC, and University rules and regulations. Proper control of the athletics program is maintained through:
- Responsible actions by athletics department staff members, administrators, faculty, and other University entities.
- The education of coaches, staff members, student-athletes, and other individuals involved with the operation of the athletics program;
- The development of clear and effective operating systems within the athletics department and the University that provide guidance in how to successfully work within existing rules.
- The monitoring of these systems to ensure that all athletically-related functions are carried out within the scope and intent of applicable regulations.
All rule violations will be reported to the appropriate governing bodies with copies to the President, Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR), Supervising Associate AD of the involved sport, and any involved staff members.
Also, it is the policy of Virginia Tech to cooperate fully with NCAA or ACC representatives whenever suspected violations are investigated.
A secondary violation is one that provides only a limited recruiting advantage and that is isolated or inadvertent in nature. Repeated secondary violations by a member-institution also may be identified by the NCAA staff as a major violation. If the Committee on Infractions determines that repeated secondary violations have occurred and that the institution is not taking appropriate action to prevent such violations, a penalty appropriate for a major violation may be imposed.
All violations other than secondary violations are major violations, specifically including those that provide an extensive recruiting or competitive advantage.
In accordance with NCAA rules and regulations, all suspected or alleged violations of NCAA rules shall be investigated. If the Director of Athletics or the Associate AD for Compliance determines that a violation has occurred, appropriate and adequate corrective measures will be taken, and a report of the violation will be submitted to the NCAA national office and/or ACC officials. In responding to rules violations, the University will evaluate such factors as whether the violation is intentional, whether any recruiting or competitive advantage is gained, and whether violations are recurring (either in the same sport or of the same type). Virginia Tech's goals in responding will be to encourage communication, and to seek consistency and accountability.
Virginia Tech is a strong proponent of NCAA rules education. The Athletics Department firmly believes that education is the best means of preventing a violation of NCAA regulations. In addition to this focus on education, and in recognition of the complex regulatory framework within which a Division I intercollegiate athletics program operates, the following policies and procedures have been established to address potential violations when they occur.
Reporting an Alleged or Potential Violation
Any individual (e.g., athletics department staff member, student-athlete, university employee, representative of the University's athletics interests, members of the community) may report an alleged or suspected violation. The individual may report the alleged or suspected violation verbally or in writing to any of the following persons: the Associate AD for Compliance, the Director of Athletics, any Associate AD, or the FAR. Whenever an alleged or suspected violation is communicated to any athletics department staff member, the staff member has an obligation to immediately notify the Associate AD for Compliance or the Director of Athletics.
Procedures for Investigating and Self-Reporting a Secondary Violation
Once informed of an alleged violation, the Associate AD for Compliance will conduct a preliminary investigation to ascertain the basic facts surrounding the incident. The parties involved in the incident will be contacted directly and asked about the matter. The Supervising Associate AD for the sport or department involved will be notified at this time.
The Associate AD for Compliance is responsible for determining whether the evidence establishes the occurrence of a violation. To make this determination, he/she may request the assistance of the Director of Athletics and/or the FAR. If, after an evaluation of the facts and relevant NCAA legislation, it is determined that no violation has occurred, the Associate AD for Compliance will place a summary of the matter in the permanent file. This summary will include: the date of the alleged violation and by whom it was reported, names of all persons involved, a chronology of the actions taken by Virginia Tech in the investigation, and the rationale for concluding that the allegation was inaccurate or that the situation did not constitute a violation of NCAA regulations.
If, after an evaluation of the facts and relevant NCAA legislation, it is determined that a violation has occurred, the Associate AD for Compliance will initiate a comprehensive investigation. The Director of Athletics is responsible for overseeing all institutional investigations. During this discovery period, all parties involved will be interviewed and written notes of the interviews and the investigation will be kept. The investigation file will be housed in the Compliance Office. The Associate AD for Compliance will keep the Director of Athletics informed of all events surrounding the investigation.
At the conclusion of the investigation, the Associate AD for Compliance will meet with the Director of Athletics and Supervising Associate AD of the involved sport to review the matter and determine the appropriate corrective actions.
Once the corrective actions have been determined, the Associate AD for Compliance will prepare a written report which will be signed by the Director of Athletics. The self-report will include, at a minimum, the following information:
- The date and relevant timeline of the violation.
- The identities of the involved individuals (prospects, student-athletes, coaches, staff members, etc.) who played a role in the violation.
- The means by which the institution became aware of the violation.
- An explanation of the circumstances surrounding the violation, including any mitigating factors.
- The cause(s) of the violation.
- A list of corrective and/or punitive actions taken by the institution in response to the violation.
The Associate AD for Compliance is responsible for ensuring that all corrective actions are clearly communicated to the appropriate individuals and that they are carried out. Copies of all subsequent correspondence with the NCAA and/or the ACC are permanently filed in the Compliance Office.
Procedures for Investigating a Major Violation
If, based on the evaluation of facts gathered during the internal investigation, the potential for a major violation exists, the Director of Athletics, Associate AD for Compliance, and other senior staff members selected by the Director of Athletics, will hold an immediate meeting to initiate an appropriate investigation. This meeting may include the University's General Counsel, FAR and/or a representative from the President's office. NCAA and/or ACC investigatory assistance will be solicited as circumstances warrant.
Alleged Violations Involving Other NCAA Institutions
If an individual has knowledge of an alleged violation that involves another NCAA member institution, he/she may report the alleged violation to the Associate AD for Compliance. The Associate AD for Compliance will discuss how best to address the situation with the individual who has lodged the accusation, Virginia Tech coaching staff members in the involved sport, and other departmental staff members, as necessary. After evaluating the allegation, the Associate AD for Compliance may then contact the Director of Compliance at the accused member institution to request that the alleged violation be investigated. In some cases, the Associate AD for Compliance or the Director of Athletics may choose to communicate directly with the ACC office or NCAA enforcement staff and request that they contact the accused institution or that institution's conference.