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UW Professor to Address NCAA Infractions

September 21, 2011
Jerry Parkinson

A University of Wyoming law professor will explain why many high-profile college football programs are being investigated and sanctioned for violating NCAA rules during a talk Saturday, Sept. 24, at 1:30 p.m. in Room 178 of the UW College of Law Building.

Professor Jerry Parkinson, who was a member of the NCAA Committee on Infractions, will discuss "Scoundrels: An Inside Look at the NCAA Infractions and Enforcement Processes." Saturday's talk launches the William T. Schwartz Professorship, an endowed professorship that honors the distinguished career of Wyoming attorney William (Bill) T. Schwartz, who died in June 2008.

NCAA leaders signaled last month that they were ready to adopt harsher penalties for the worst offenders - something infractions committee members recommended in 2008. Among the possibilities are making greater use of postseason and TV bans, punishments that were the norm in the 1980s but have become rarities over the past decade.

"If there was a general theme ... it was, 'Let's strengthen penalties and get the attention of people,'" said Parkinson, who chaired the subcommittee that made the recommendations.

"But there's not going to be a huge movement until that message is sent from the membership and leadership of the NCAA," he added. "If the message comes up from the membership to the Committee on Infractions that they've got to toughen up and there's a clear signal, the committee will do that."

Parkinson was appointed as a volunteer member of the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions in 2000. He served as the committee's first coordinator of appeals, and argued his last appeal in 2010. During that 10-year period, he participated in approximately 100 major infractions hearings, briefed 28 appeals on behalf of the infractions committee, and presented 22 oral arguments.

Some of the cases he argued were among the most prominent in NCAA infractions history, including Alabama football, Florida State multi-sport academic fraud, Georgia men's basketball, Georgia Tech football, Indiana men's basketball, Memphis men's basketball, Michigan men's basketball, and Minnesota men's basketball.

Parkinson is still active as an adviser to the committee and as a substitute member when needed. He chaired a subcommittee on infractions penalties and drafted penalty bylaw revisions that were adopted by the NCAA Board of Directors in April 2011. In 2010-11 he served on an NCAA task force clarifying the roles of the Committee on Infractions and the Infractions Appeals Committee.

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