Chat with NCAA executive Tom Hosty
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, we'll be chatting with the NCAA Managing Director of Enforcement Tom Hosty, one of the people charged with investigating NCAA infractions.
Hosty oversees all investigations and hearings for the enforcement staff, ensuring that each case is fairly and effectively processed, and oversees the group that is charged with the responsibility of investigating rules infractions for the NCAA. In his 18 years with the NCAA, Tom has processed over 70 major infractions cases for the NCAA.
Send your questions now and join Hosty Friday at 3 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (2:59 PM)
Tom will be here soon, everyone!
Buzzmaster (3:03 PM)
Tom's here, everyone!
How would you describe the health of the NCAA?
Tom Hosty (3:04 PM)
From an enforcement point of view: overall, pretty good. We recognize that many programs operate in compliance with NCAA rules, but no program is perfect. It's pretty common for some secondary violations to occur in just about every program, but most of them operate free of major violations. We as the enforcement staff know that D1 Football and Men's Basketball pose some unique challenges from a compliance point of view. That's why the enforcement staff has focused its efforts to ensure compliance in both of those areas.
Is it possible to run a clean program and win consistenly in college football?
Tom Hosty (3:06 PM)
Yes, and I'll make some distinctions here. I think that many football programs are clear of major violations, but that no program is perfect. Many programs will have secondary violations, which is typical. We recognize again that D1 football has some very unique issues, and that violations will occur unfortunately. We believe that you can be successful and still run a program free of major violations.
Jeff E. (DC)
So how do you choose which schools to investigate?
Tom Hosty (3:08 PM)
The enforcement staff processes two types of violations: major violations and secondary violations. We have a system to quickly process secondary violations, but we focus our resources on those cases where there are potential major violations. We put particular focus on D1 Football and Men's Basketball where there are major violations. In order for us to go forward with a case, we need to have credible and persuasive evidence that violations have occurred.
WHat's the most difficult part of investigating a case?
Tom Hosty (3:09 PM)
The objective of every case is to get to the truth. That can be a difficult exercise, because though we can secure the cooperation of people within the university, we can't always do so with people outside of the university. We also recognize that people don't always tell us the truth, and that can be frustrating.
Nick (Burlington, NY)
Could you see the Death Penalty ever being used again on a football program?
Tom Hosty (3:10 PM)
Let me clarify terms: the NCAA don't use the term "Death Penalty". I believe that was coined back int he 1980s by the news media in regards to the SMU case. Our term is "repeat violator". We have many cases where a school will appear before us more than once in five years, which makes them a repeat violator. We have at our disposal enhanced penalties -- repeat violator penalties -- that are codified. Those penalties are always available in repeat violator cases.
With many allegations taking the spot light at once... How does the NCAA plan to prevent schools and programs from reaching this "low" again? Do you feel the current system and punishment will work or do you feel a tougher stand should be taken?
Tom Hosty (3:16 PM)
College athletics has always been a competitive endeavor. Many of the current cases are a result of some new initiatives by the enforcement staff to cultivate information concerning infractions. Regarding restructuring of the penalty process, currently Dr. Emmert has put together a group examining the current structure, to determine whether penalties should be enhanced to ensure compliance.
Why do some cases (i.e., USC's with Bush/Mayo) take years, whereas others (i.e., Auburn's with Newton) take a matters of months?
Tom Hosty (3:17 PM)
When the enforcement staff investigates major cases, each one is unique. Depending upon the facts and circumstances, some cases can be processed fairly quickly, while others may pose challenges and complications. Some of these are beyond the enforcement staff's control, i.e. the length of the case and process.
Kasey D (CO)
You were born in Dallas and raised in Kansas City, so the big question is -- Cowboys or Chiefs?
Tom Hosty (3:18 PM)
Chiefs all the way!
Tom Hosty (3:20 PM)
In closing, I'll just say that we're very proud of our enforcement staff. We have some very talented and skilled people, and we're proud of our mission: the ensure compliance with NCAA rules so the student-athlete has the best possible experience. We take our job seriously and will pursue any credible and persuasive evidence that violations may have occurred. Thank you very much.