Independent Accountability Resolution Process

The Independent Accountability Resolution Process (IARP) is responsible for reviewing select complex infractions cases in Division I. The IARP was created in response to recommendations made by the Commission on College Basketball, chaired by former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Colleges and universities adopted a series of significant changes in August 2018, including the addition of the Independent Accountability Resolution Process to the existing infractions process. The creation of independent groups to handle select complex infractions cases and minimize perceived conflicts of interest was the intended purpose of the independent structure, which became effective in August 2019.

Complex cases may include alleged violations of core Association values, such as failing to prioritize academics or the well-being of student-athletes; the possibility of significant penalties; or conduct that is contrary to the cooperative principles of the existing infractions process. Multiple parties can request referral of an infractions case: colleges and universities, the Division I Committee on Infractions chair or the vice president of the enforcement staff.

There are four components to the IARP:

  • Independent Accountability Oversight Committee (IAOC)
  • Infractions Referral Committee (IRC)
  • Complex Case Unit (CCU)
  • Independent Resolution Panel (IRP)

Independent Accountability Oversight Committee (IAOC)

The Independent Accountability Oversight Committee oversees the independent process. It consists of three independent members of the Board of Governors and the chair and vice chair of the Division I Board of Directors.

In addition to overseeing all operational matters, the committee appoints independent external investigators and advocates on the Complex Case Unit, selects members of the Infractions Referral Committee, and nominates members of the Independent Resolution Panel, who are then appointed by the Division I Board of Directors.

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Infractions Referral Committee (IRC)

The Infractions Referral Committee decides whether to approve or reject requests to refer infractions cases to the independent process.

The committee consists of a member of the Independent Resolution Panel (serves as chair), a member of the Division I Committee on Infractions, a member of the Division I Infractions Appeals Committee, and the chair and vice chair of the Division I Council.

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Complex Case Unit (CCU)

The Complex Case Unit includes both external investigators and advocates with no school or conference affiliations as well as one member of the enforcement staff. Independent investigators and advocates are a vital part of the new process. When a case is referred to the independent structure, the CCU will assess whether further investigation is needed. The CCU will conduct any additional investigation and submit the case for review by the Independent Resolution Panel.

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Independent Resolution Panel (IRP)

The Independent Resolution Panel consists of 15 members with legal, higher education and/or sports backgrounds. Once a case is accepted into the IARP, a public disclosure is made and a hearing panel of five (IRP) members and one alternate is appointed by the IAOC. That panel will review the allegations issued by the CCU and the parties’ response to those allegations. It then conducts a hearing, decides whether violations occurred and prescribes penalties.

Decisions issued by the IRP are final and are not subject to appeal.

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Covid-19 Update

Due to public health concerns and the unique circumstances related to the COVID-19 crisis, leaders from the Committees on Infractions, the Infractions Appeals Committees and the Independent Resolution Panel have determined that hearings and oral arguments will resume and be conducted virtually, when possible. The existing briefing deadlines and other processing obligations for all ongoing cases remain in place, including the release of decisions. There will be continued assessments to determine when in-person infractions hearings and oral arguments will resume. Any questions related to pending cases should continue to be posed to the appropriate infractions adjudicative body during this time.