Nov. 30, 2010
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -
The NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee has denied Indiana University's appeal on behalf of Guy-Marc Michel. As a result, he is not eligible to participate on the men's basketball team.
According to the facts agreed to by the university and the NCAA, Guy enrolled in a French university in 2006, which started his five-year clock for Division I participation.
Guy played basketball for a French sports club from 2005 to the 2007-08 season. Although he competed the majority of the time on club teams not considered professional, he practiced and competed in five games with the club's top-level team in 2007-08. Since the top-level team is considered a professional team per NCAA guidelines, his participation triggered NCAA amateurism violations.
Guy's participation occurred before the new NCAA rule allowing prospective student-athletes to compete on teams with professionals while maintaining their amateur status.
The NCAA reinstatement committee and staff agreed Guy's eligibility should not be reinstated because he does not have enough time left in his five-year window to complete the withholding conditions normally associated with this type of amateurism violations.
The reinstatement staff and committee consider a number of factors when deciding each case. These include the nature and seriousness of the violation; the student-athlete's level of responsibility; any mitigating factors presented by the university; applicable NCAA guidelines; and any relevant case precedent.
During this process, the NCAA Eligibility Center and reinstatement staffs worked with our institution to bring this case to resolution. Even as we faced significant delays while dealing with French authorities, the NCAA staff was responsive and efficient in processing our initial case and the subsequent appeal.
As is permissible by NCAA rules, we will continue to honor Guy's scholarship as he remains on track to graduate from Indiana University.
Statement from Tom Crean regarding Guy-Marc Michel
"We are disappointed by this decision because everyone involved in this process agrees that Guy did not intentionally do anything that would have jeopardized his ability to play here or at any of the number of institutions that also recruited him. We will regroup, assess all our options and do whatever we can for Guy, who has demonstrated to us that he deserves to be part of the IU program."
Indiana Senior Associate Athletic Director for Compliance and Administration Julie Cromer talked to members of the media about Guy-Marc Michel's situation. Below is a full transcript:
"I know we kept you all busy today but as we thought about it, we know there is a lot of interest in this case and we feel like this is the best way to give you direct access to the information. So I appreciate your effort to get back here this evening.
"We have received disappointing news regarding Guy-Marc Michel's eligibility as you can see from the release. Unfortunately, Guy will not be able to compete as a player of our men's basketball team, or on any team within the NCAA's Division I for that matter.
"His case is both unique and complicated. There are three primary NCAA rules that are in play in his case. Two of them are fairly well recognized. Guy participated in five games on a team over in France with others on the team who were considered professionals. Guy also signed an agreement to play with that club team and by virtue of his participation and being called up, that agreement becomes a professional contract under NCAA rules. The third is the fact that in the NCAA Division I, every student-athlete has five years from the time they first enroll to complete their competition in Division I. Guy attempted to both go to college and play ball as an amateur over in France while he was there for those three years. So in the fall of 2006, he initially enrolled in some college courses. Unfortunately for him, that started his five year clock. So the NCAA had determined that he does not have time remaining in his five-year window to fulfill the withholding conditions, in other words, to sit the games that student who come from international programs who have to sit out given similar experiences to compete and be eligible.
"What I think is important to clarify is what is not at play here. He did not receive expenses above and beyond actual and necessary expense to participate with the club. There are not other issues at play here, it is simply a matter of overlapping bylaws and the fact that he ran out of time on his five-year clock to get to his eligibility in Division I. I think while we are obviously disappointed, we are an NCAA member and will abide by the NCAA member rules.
"It is also important and helpful to understand the process. You guys may know this, but for those of you who don't, for every student-athlete we certify both amateurism and academic eligibility. And that process begins with the NCAA Eligibility Center in Indianapolis. From there, if there are issues that need to be resolved, the next group you work with the Student-Athlete Reinstatement staff at the national office. If you want to appeal a decision from that staff, you go to NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee. We have gone through all three of those phases so we are at the end of the road with this process, in terms of his ability to compete with us.
"That being said, we have been working with the NCAA to identify the things that he can continue to do with us. He will remain on scholarship. He will remain a part of the program. He is a student here and is doing quite well. It is every intention to keep him nearby and keep him a part of the IU Athletics family. He simply will not be able to compete for us as a player on the court."
On the five-year clock issue:
"There were three elements to that, let me start with the third and we will work our way up. This current academic year is his fifth year of five years. So absent the amateurism issues, he still would have time. For his amateurism issues, typically the penalty is sit one year if you sign a piece of paper that meets the definition of a contract. For his games, because he participated in those games after his first opportunity to enroll in college, and in fact he did enroll in college, they penalty formula is two games for every one game played. So their starting penalty is a season plus ten games, which explains how he doesn't have time remaining because he only has one year to fulfill it."
"In the NCAA world, the particular point is whether or not you compete with that team after your first opportunity to enroll. So he graduated high school in 2006 and his first opportunity to enroll, under our system would have been fall of 2006. Anything he did after that became the 2-for-1 formula. If it would have been prior to that, it would have been the 1-for-1 formula, and you see that in a lot of other international cases as well. So you are very close to it, but it is actually not even strictly enrollment but it's the point at which you have the opportunity to enroll.
"Now the third layer is his five-year clock on top of that, which is based on enrollment, which did start ticking at that time and that's how we got here today."
So if he had not enrolled in college in France, this would not be an issue here?
"That is right. His clock would have started when he enrolled at North Idaho Community College and then he would have still had his amateurism penalties. But he would not be permanently ineligible because there would still be time to work on those penalties."
When was Indiana aware that he enrolled in the French University?
"We learned that late in August."
On what of the information did Guy volunteer and how much of it was the diligence of the compliance department discovering it:
"We worked hand in hand with him throughout the time. He volunteered information. The more information we collected, then went back to him, he confirmed, he was involved with us from the beginning of the process."
On how Indiana found out about the French university:
"As part of our due diligence, the student-athletes who are recruited fill out forms that tell us where they have attended. Another unique factor in Guy's case, however, is that, as is often the case over in France, he attended the same institution for both college and the first year of high school. So part of the technicality and the complication of this process was determining whether or not that 2006 year was actually still high school or was college and that in and of itself took a significant amount of time."
On whether there was any previous case that was consulted or came into play:
"I think the NCAA reinstatement staff would be in the best position to provide the cases specifically cited, but there were a number of cases in which the five year clock did not allow enough time for the penalty and as a result, students were ineligible for a variety of reasons."
On what the basis of the appeal was:
"We were hoping that recent rule changes would have reflected a shift in our NCAA memberships comfort level with some flexibility in cases like this and that, along with the particulars of the case, relatively minimal participation, his intent to try to remain an amateur all along, and those sorts of things were the basis for the appeal.
"We appealed the penalty particularly, based again on the fact that he intended to remain amateur all along and there were five games involved. At the end of the day, the reinstatement process is one that considers all of the elements and so the entire combination is the basis for their decision."
On whether the issue had anything to do with expenses:
"We found and the NCAA also agreed that expenses were not an issue in this case."
On what changed in NCAA rules when he participated and what it is now:
"The rule now allows for students who are incoming this fall who participate on teams with others who are paid to have fewer eligibility consequences than those who have done so in the past. The other key element to that is that they have to do so before they enroll. The reality is if the rule had been in place in Guy's situation, he still would have had the enrollment issue. He wouldn't necessarily have been subject exactly to that new rule. Our argument was that the NCAA membership adopted that rule based on their better understanding of vicarious professionalism and we had hoped that the committee would apply that then in this situation as well and see the same rationale for some flexibility, but as they have the authority to do, they took a look at the entire case and ruled as they did.
"He would not have qualified for the new rule, but the new rule does allow some people to play with professionals on a team, which is essentially what he did. So we were just simply saying there are common elements here, do you think that that's reason to provide some flexibility, not necessarily that the new rule would have applied to him if it would have been in place back in 2006."
On when the school got the initial ruling:
"We received the first ruling on October 15. The appeal process went through last week and we've been working with the NCAA to clarify exactly what he can continue to do as part of our program and we were working on that up through and beyond the end of business today."
On what he can do as part of the program:
"He can receive a scholarship. He can continue to work out in our facilities. He will avail himself of all the academic support available. He can continue to be involved with the coaches on his own skill development. There are a lot of things that he can do as part of the program. He simply cannot compete and represent us in uniform during competition."
On whether he can practice with the team:
"That's part of what we're talking with the NCAA about. He is not eligible for practice as a player on the team."
On whether he counts against the 13 scholarships:
"This year he does because the year has already started, in the future he will not."