NCAA infractions chair responds to ‘cheating pays’

BANOWSKY

BANOWSKY

IRVING, Texas (AP) – The chairman of the NCAA’s infractions committee says a number of factors could be the cause for the lack of activity by the group that prompted Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby to call the enforcement program “broken.”

Conference USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky, chair of the Committee on Infractions, on Wednesday listed reforms and restructuring in the enforcement system and expansion of the committee as possible reasons.

He also noted the NCAA enforcement director changed in the aftermath of two investigators and two key leaders leaving in less than a year after an internal investigation uncovered problems with the NCAA’s investigation of the University of Miami.

At Big 12 media days Monday, Bowlsby said “cheating pays” and that anyone who conspired to bend the rules could do so successfully and probably not get caught in most occasions.

“They’re in a battle with a BB gun in their hand. They’re fighting howitzers,” Bowlsby said of NCAA enforcement officials, while also saying he didn’t believe cheating was rampant.

Banowsky said the last NCAA infractions hearing was in the Miami case in June 2013.

“I have to say that a lot of what (Bowlsby) says is true relative to the inactivity,” Banowsky said at his league’s media day. “I’ve been assured and encouraged that there’s a lot in the pipeline and the thing is kind of ramping back up again and the new system is going to get engaged and functioning.

“I do appreciate what Bob is saying. I have a lot of respect for him and I think he’s smart and honest and accurate in the way that he sees these things,” Banowsky said. “I’m a little more measured because I live in it. … I think this next year is a really important year for that process and for that system, and for the NCAA as an organization really.”