Determine the fundamental ways in which the NCAA’s ethics program failed to prevent the scandals at Penn State, Ohio State, and the University of Arkansas

Case Study 2: National Collegiate Athletic Association Ethics and Compliance Program

Due Week 6 and worth 200 points

Read “Case Study 6: National Collegiate Athletic Association Ethics and Compliance Program,” located on page 444 of the textbook.

Write a four to six (4-6) page paper in which you:

  1. Determine the fundamental ways in which the NCAA’s ethics program failed to prevent the scandals at Penn State, Ohio State, and the University of Arkansas. Support your response with one (1) example from each of these schools’ scandals.
  2. Examine the principal ways in which the leadership of the NCAA contributed to the ethical violations of Penn State, Ohio State, and the University of Arkansas. Support your response with one (1) example from each of these schools’ scandals.
  3. Predict the key differences in the scenarios that occurred at Penn State, Ohio State, and the University of Arkansas if an effective ethics program was in place. Provide a rationale for your response.
  4. Postulate on two (2) actions that the NCAA leadership should take in order to regain the trust and confidence of students and stakeholders.
  5. Recommend two (2) measures that the HR departments of colleges and universities should take to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. Provide a rationale for your response.
  6. Use at least three (3) quality academic resources in this assignment. Note: Wikipedia and other similar Websites do not qualify as academic resources.

Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:

  • Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA or school-specific format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.
  • Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.

National Collegiate Athletic Association Ethics and Compliance Program*


Perhaps no sport at American colleges is as popular, or as lucrative, as college football. College football often has a significant impact on the school’s culture. This is especially true for the more successful and prolific football programs, such as Texas A&M or Notre Dame. Football has increasingly become a big money maker for many colleges, with a significant amount of sports revenue coming from their football programs. Within the past two years, the sports channel ESPN made deals with certain teams to gain rights to air more games than usual. Because of this influx of revenue, the duties of coaches have evolved beyond just coaching. In many ways, they became the face of the team. Programs that show positive returns have coaches working hard to fill seats on game day and encourage college alumni to donate to the school. The more successful the football team, the more visibility it is given in the media. This visibility leads to greater awareness of the college or university among the public, and schools with the best football programs can see a greater influx of applications.

The collegiate football programs have an intangible influence within and outside their immediate surroundings. This is mainly seen in their fan base, composed of current students, alumni, staff, faculty, and local businesses. For example, when the University of Alabama won its 15 th national championship, the victory was celebrated by an enormous crowd, fireworks, and a parade. Texas A&M University is one example of a football program that generates not only profits but also a sense of loyalty among its fans. Approximately 70,000 football fans pile into Texas A&M’s Kyle Field stadium at every home game to show their support for the team and the university. Table 1 shows the value of some of the most successful college-football programs. These games also help local businesses generate more revenues.

Because of the financial support and widespread influence of the football program, the players, coaches, and football administrators have to deal with a lot of pressure to fundraise, sell tickets, and win games. These pressures open up opportunities for misconduct to occur, and it is increasingly important that university administrators and football program officials directly acknowledge opportunities for misconduct. While the university is ultimately responsible for the operation of each department and the behavior of its employees, it can be difficult for the administrators to have an objective view of incidents that occur, especially when it involves a successful football program that benefits the entire university. The university administrators are often subject to the same pressures as those in the football program to increase the level of revenue and reputation. This led to the development of a more objective institution to set and enforce rules and standards: the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The NCAA views ethical conduct as a crucial component to a college football program and works to promote leadership and excellence among student–athletes and the universities to which they belong. It also serves to protect the interests of student–athletes, ensure academic excellence, and encourage fair play.

TABLE 1 Value of major-conference college-football programs, plus Notre Dame and BYU (in millions)

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