NCAA mulling tougher penalties

The NCAA has been busy this season, investigating schools from Auburn to Georgia to North Carolina while trying to crack down on problems tied to sports agents.

Most of the investigations are open cases with unknown consequences for the schools.

But an NCAA panel two years ago has recommended stricter punishments for schools tabbed as serious rules violators — recommendations that remain under consideration and could mark the first substantive revision to the NCAA's penalty system since 1985.

"It's definitely not a dead issue," NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said. "It's still an ongoing discussion."

The subcommittee of the Division I Committee on Infractions offered its recommendations in October 2008 to the Division I Board of Directors. The group of 18 university chancellors and presidents typically takes about a year to study proposed rules revisions, Osburn said.

The panel's report is confidential. But interviews with the group's former chairman and others knowledgeable about its contents indicate the recommendations include:

— A requirement that all schools found guilty of major violations lose scholarships. Current NCAA rules list that sanction as a "presumptive" penalty.

— TV bans, a penalty not applied to Division I violators since 1996.

— Clarified penalties for repeat offenders.

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