Iowa State University Statement
IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY STATEMENT
Earlier this week, Iowa State University issued a news release regarding 79 NCAA telephone violations that occurred between 2008 and 2011 within its athletics programs. The institution issued the release, despite the NCAA’s desire that institutions make no public comment, in an attempt to be as transparent as possible in light of the Board of Regent’s new transparency initiatives. In the statement, the institution indicated it would have no further comment regarding the case until it was fully resolved with the NCAA.
Unfortunately during the past several days, a local media outlet has made sensationalized allegations about the institution and its staff that are not only inaccurate, but also potentially damaging to our institution since this case has not been heard yet by the Committee on Infractions. As a result, the institution feels compelled to issue the following clarifications to the information that has been alleged by the local media outlet.
1. President Steven Leath personally notified the Board of Regents as soon as he became aware of possible violations. President Leath, whose first day at Iowa State was Jan. 16, 2012, received a call from the NCAA about the self-reported violations on Jan. 31, 2012. President Leath informed Board of Regents leadership in person about the phone call on the afternoon of Jan. 31, 2012. Furthermore, President Leath gave the BOR a more detailed report in the summer of 2012 and has kept the Board of Regents updated on a periodic basis since that time.
2. As soon as the athletics program discovered the violations, the University followed NCAA and University policies on how these matters are to be handled. That process requires the Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR) to be immediately notified and for the FAR to lead the institution’s investigation including serving as the point person with the NCAA.
3. The institution formally signed off on the final NCAA report and legally entered into the summary disposition process on April 2, 2013. At that time, President Leath and Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard felt the institution had a responsibility to its constituents to be as transparent as possible by making them aware of the violations and that the institution was formally entering into this process with the NCAA. They did that even though normal NCAA protocol requires institutions to not comment publicly about any cases until they are fully resolved by the NCAA.
4. The institution plans to release the full NCAA report as soon as it has received the final version and it has been formatted in the manner used by the NCAA with redactions in compliance with law protecting student privacy as required by federal and state law, etc.
The institution is also sharing these excerpts from a message Dr. Tim Day, the University’s Faculty Athletics Representative, shared with the institution’s Athletics Council Tuesday:
“The investigation started a long time ago, and the process simply took a long, long time and included examining hundreds of thousands of phone records while interviewing staff and coaches. By NCAA directive, one of the most important things protecting the integrity of the investigation is confidentiality. It is almost impossible to gather accurate information about what happened if we are leaking out the progress of the investigation (either inside or outside of the Athletics Department). The confidentiality was not driven by a desire to conceal, but by a need to figure out as accurately as possible what really happened. The circle was kept very tight -- not at all for secrecy, but in order to preserve the integrity and effectiveness of the investigation.
Until this week, that process was ongoing. Tuesday marked the day that we sent a final report to the NCAA detailing the violations discovered in the course of the investigation. Tuesday was the day that the process of fact-finding and reporting was finally complete.
We are continuing to refrain from public comment about the case, because the NCAA instructs us to do so. Our report is finalized, but that report now goes before the Committee on Infractions to be adjudicated. Members of the Committee on Infractions include faculty and athletics personnel from all over the country. Public statements about our case can be perceived as attempts to affect that process.
Our continuing reticence is not about secrecy (the entire report will soon be public), it is because we are trying our very best to submit ourselves to the NCAA process. As we will have ample time to show you, the investigation was exhaustive and painstaking; the depth and breadth of the data reported is literally unprecedented.
I have absolute confidence in the integrity of the process that we followed and the report we submitted to the NCAA. And, we have confidence in the process that the NCAA prescribes from here and we are doing our very best to submit completely to that process.”
The University plans to have no further comment about the case until it is fully resolved. We hope the release of this additional information helps better explain and also clarify any misconceptions that may have been drawn this week.