John Infante is a former compliance officer at a Division I school. He runs the Athnet Web site, and graciously responded to my questions about K-State's transfer process. Read his full take on the Leticia Romero transfer situation here.
Former Division I compliance officer John Infante answered my questions about K-State's transfer procedures. He has also weighed in on the Leticia Romero situation in a post on his site.
1) K-State student-athletes must seek and obtain a release from their team's Sport Administrator before contacting other schools about transfers. Would you consider this first step common practice among NCAA member institutions?
JI: Going to the sport administrator or sport supervisor is one of a couple common approaches. Process can start with the head coach, compliance office, or athletic director.
2) If the Sport Administrator denies the student-athlete's request for a release, the student-athlete may appeal to a committee of non-athletics individuals assembled by K-State's vice president for student life, Pat Bosco. Again, would you consider this common practice?
JI: Again, this is one of a few standard ways to do this. Sometimes the faculty athletics representative takes the lead, dean of students, legal counsel.
3) K-State noted in a press release yesterday that the appeals committee's decision is final and binding, apparently absolving athletic director John Currie and university president Kirk Schulz of criticism for not unilaterally granting a release to women's basketball player Leticia Romero. Is it common for universities to take these decisions out of the hands of even their highest-level administrators?
JI: The appeal has to be outside of athletics, so Currie as athletic director cannot have a say in that decision beyond arguing the athletic department's position. With the president, many times they are simply not part of the committee. Only one appeal is required and you can see from Kansas State's point of view why even the hint of presidential involvement is problematic: every athlete who is denied permission to contact would try for two appeals.
4) In your experience, are alleged violations of NCAA permission-to-contact rules -- or "tampering" -- often grounds for denying a release, or would a conditional release be more likely?
JI: Conditional releases are more common, but in this case the accusation was that the coaches were shopping the athlete in an effort to get a job. Without knowing where the coaches were going, i.e. which school was going to be the one that benefitted from the "tampering", Kansas State could not grant a conditional release which they felt protected them from the behavior they were trying to prevent.
5) If the athletic department has concerns about permission-to-contact violations, do they generally turn their evidence over to the NCAA for an investigation?
JI: That is rare given how difficult it is to prove this type of tampering, especially in cases of indirect contact. The specific action K-State was concerned with makes that even more murky.