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NCAA changes infractions policy, but provides no clarity on Sean Miller

The NCAA has changed their infractions review process, but hasn’t bothered explaining what that means for the people in it

Sean Miller, confused and frustrated
Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Here are the official words from the NCAA on the changes to the infractions process:

Clear as mud, right? The NCAA has, to their credit, recognized that the current infraction and appeals process doesn’t work at all. Six major basketball cases have ever been referred to the IARP, five still haven’t been adjudicated. The IARP was supposed to “modernize” and streamline the appeals process back when it was implemented in 2019. Now, it is the victim of the latest “modernization.” How much modernity has changed in the last three years is, I guess, up to you.

What this didn’t clear up, at all, is exactly what is happening with those five programs still in limbo. One of those is Arizona from the time it was coached by Sean Miller. In April of 2021, NCAA president Mark Emmert said that the remaining cases would be closed in 12 months. That, obviously, didn’t happen.

Arizona’s case was referred to the IARP on December 17th of 2020. In the intervening 624 days, the IARP has made 50 additions to what can best be called their docket of the investigation. Since January 11th of 2022 the parties have been arguing back and forth about scheduling a hearing. There have been no entries since May 27th.

Allegedly the IARP is going to finish its work and be phased out by the start of 2023. There is no real reason to believe that will actually happen. There is no clarity on what this means for Sean Miller. There is a bunch of opaque language about how cooperation will be encouraged and the process will be sped up. That all falls firmly in the realm of “believe it when I see it.” Xavier (and Arizona) continue apace with no real idea of how, or whether, this changes anything or any real idea of what is actually happening in this case.

The NCAA also turned down a proposal to no longer impose postseason bans on programs after the people allegedly being punished have left. Instead they will consider “Identifying appropriate types of penalties and modifying current penalty ranges, including identifying potential alternative penalties to postseason bans.” So, what does all this mean? Nothing, really. The NCAA marches on, as ever to the beat of a drum only it can hear.