Air Force and four individuals have reached an agreement with NCAA enforcement staff on recruiting violations that occurred within the academy's football program during the COVID-19 dead period and the appropriate penalties for those violations. A Committee on Infractions panel has preliminarily approved the agreement. A fifth involved individual in the case has contested the enforcement staff's alleged violations, and his portion of the case will be considered by the Committee on Infractions during an infractions hearing before the release of the committee's full decision.
In this case, Air Force and four individuals — who agreed to their violations and penalties — asked the Division I Committee on Infractions to publicly acknowledge the infractions case and immediately begin serving penalties while awaiting the committee's final decision, which will include findings and penalties for the remaining individual who has contested the violations.
"The (committee) appreciates the parties' efforts in working collaboratively together to reach agreement on the violations, levels, classifications, and significant and meaningful penalties," said Gary Miller, chief hearing officer for the panel and president at Akron. "The panel also recognizes that Air Force has gone above and beyond in its overall approach to this case."
Some of the penalties — effective immediately — in this case include:
- Two years of probation.
- A fine.
- A reduction of 46 total official visits for the football program during the 2022-23 and 2023-24 academic years.
- A prohibition against unofficial visits in football from Sept. 1 through Oct. 12, 2022.
- A prohibition against all recruiting communications in football for four weeks during the 2022-23 academic year.
- A reduction in evaluation days for football by 10 during spring 2022 and by 34 during fall 2022.
- A reduction of the football squad size by 10 for four years, starting with the 2022-23 academic year.
- Show-cause orders for the individuals who have agreed to their violations and penalties.
The committee, the academy and the four individuals will not discuss further details in the case at this time to protect the integrity of the ongoing process, as the committee's final decision — including potential violations and penalties for the remaining individual — is still pending.
In August, the Division I Board of Directors adopted new legislation intended to modernize and expedite the infractions process. Although the current infractions process permits negotiated resolution when not all parties participate, the new rules clarify when bifurcated cases are appropriate. The changes take effect Jan. 1.