Division I-A Football Recruiting Violations Reported by the National Collegiate Athletic Association from 1980 Through 1996

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Human Performance and Recreation

First Advisor

Dennis Phillips

Advisor Department

Human Performance and Recreation


The purpose of this study was to investigate and quantify by descriptive analysis the amount and type of football recruiting violations (FRV) within the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I-A institutions that took place between 1980 and 1996. Specifically, comparisons were made between the Pre-Dick Schulz Era (PSE) from 1980 to 1986 and the Dick Schulz Era (DSE) 1987 to 1994 to determine if widespread reform during the DSE had an effect on the amount and type of violations (Richard "Dick" Schulz was the former Executive Director of the NCAA). During the DSE the Knight Commission (KCM) was founded which lead to numerous revisions in governance of the NCAA. The most significant issue of the KCM underscored the involvement of college presidents in the control and running of their specific programs. When the presidents became more involved in the issues of the NCAA, and more importantly, voted on these issues, current reform of the NCAA was in place. Within the parameters of this study, it was discovered that forty-five institutions committed a minimum of 369 FRV's from 1980-1996. The study divided the violations into ten categories: Improper Recruiting Contacts (IRC), Improper Recruiting Inducements (IRI), Improper Recruiting Transportation (IRT), Improper Recruiting Entertainment (IRE), Improper Recruiting Lodging (IRL;), Improper Number of Recruiting Visits (IRV), Improper Tryouts (IPT), Improper Recruiting Publicity (IRP), Improper Recruiting Employment (IRM), and Unethical Conduct (UNC). Further analysis revealed that most violations were in the categories of IRI (94) and IRC (71). The least common occurring violation was IRP (5). The years were the most institutions were found to have committed violations were 1980, 1982, 1986, and 1988 with six institutions being involved each year. The year in which the least amount of violations occurred was 1995 when the NCAA did not report any institutions for FRV. The study showed the years with the most prevalent number of overall violations were 1980 (45), 1985 (40), and 1988 (42). The year with the least number was 1995 (0). Finally, the study indicated reduction in the number of violations between the PSE (n = 241, mean = 34.43) as compared to the DSE (n = 118, mean = 14.75). Consequently the effects of the Knight Commission during the DSE has had an impact on the number and type of FRV in the sport of football.