SBD/December 19, 2011/Colleges

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  • NCAA VP/Enforcement Julie Roe Lach Has More Cases Now Than Ever

    The NCAA’s enforcement philosophy and policy under new VP/Enforcement Julie Roe Lach was profiled by Mary Pilon of the N.Y. TIMES. When Penn State "ultimately provides its official response" to an NCAA letter requesting information on charges against former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, "the nature of its answers and the penalties it might face as a result will be the latest test for the person with what may be the most Sisyphean job in all of sports." Roe Lach said, "It seems like there have been more high-profile issues in a condensed time frame -- and I say that after being here for 14 years. It used to be, in the past, one or two a year, and so far we’ve had a lot more than that. Double that or more." Roe Lach and her staff of 55 are "left to investigate these high-profile cases and hundreds of less sensational ones." Ohio Univ. professor of Sports Administration and Drake Group member B. David Ridpath said, "I have a lot of respect for Julie, but it’s an impossible job." Last year, Roe Lach became the "first woman to run the NCAA's enforcement arm." She has "hired 12 new staff members," and after taking over her position, Roe Lach "embarked on an eight-month national tour to meet with about 175 coaches, athletic directors, compliance officers and others involved with college sports." Attendees said that much of those meetings "centered on what kind of cases enforcement should be pursuing." Roe Lach and NCAA President Mark Emmert have "spoken publicly about prioritizing more serious infractions over lesser ones, a sentiment echoed by many of its members." Pilon noted the Penn State case "presents a particularly tricky challenge for the NCAA." Roe Lach: "We need to get some more information here to understand what steps, if any, we want to take as an association" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/17).

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