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. If a case is referred to the independent structure before the enforcement staff issues a notice of allegations, the CCU determines whether further investigation of the facts is needed. If a case is referred after the enforcement staff has issued the notice of allegations, the CCU will accept the investigative work of the enforcement staff, unless the CCU can demonstrate a compelling reason to the chief panel member why additional investigation is required. The CCU will conduct any additional investigation, if needed, and submit the case for review by the Independent Resolution Panel.

Complex Case Unit Members

Investigators

Berryman Prime LLC

AlixPartners

Kroll

Advocates

Meyers Nave

Krieg DeVault

Complex Case Unit Procedures

These procedures constitute the operating procedures and investigative guidelines adopted by NCAA Division I Board of Directors for the Complex Case Unit (CCU). The primary purpose of these procedures is to provide member institutions and involved individuals with basic information regarding the CCU’s investigation and processing functions in connection with alleged violations of the NCAA Constitution and bylaws.

Download the CCU Procedures

Limited Immunity Frequently Asked Questions

What is a grant of limited immunity in the Independent Accountability Resolution Process (IARP)?

Limited immunity protects an individual (“prospective student-athlete, current or former student-athlete or current or former institutional employee”) from certain consequences for violating NCAA legislation. Limited immunity is an investigative tool that allows information to be elicited from an individual concerning his or her potential involvement in or knowledge of NCAA violations, with the understanding that the Complex Case Unit (CCU) will not put the individual at-risk in the resolution process by bringing identified allegations against him or her.

Where is the authority to grant limited immunity derived?

The authority to grant limited immunity is authorized in NCAA Division I Bylaw 19.11.2.3.7- (e) and 19.11.2.3.7- (f).

Why is it referred to as LIMITED immunity?

The term limited immunity refers to protections afforded to an individual who may have committed violations of NCAA legislation. Limited immunity protects the individual from consequences resulting from violations of NCAA legislation; however, it does not protect the individual from action(s) that could be taken by the individual’s institution or any other entity. Additionally, limited immunity does not apply to an individual’s involvement in violations not reported to the CCU or to future violations of NCAA legislation committed by the individual. Finally, limited immunity does not apply to the institution’s responsibility for the violations that occurred. Hence the term limited immunity.

Who decides whether an individual is offered a grant of limited immunity?

The chief panel member of the Independent Resolution Panel (IRP). Normally, this offer is made upon the recommendation of the CCU.

What factors does the CCU consider in determining whether to recommend that an individual be offered a grant of limited immunity?

  1. Whether the individual is a prospective student-athlete, current or former student-athlete or a current or former staff member.
  2. Whether the individual received limited immunity in the past, and if so, the value of the information reported to the enforcement staff or CCU. 
  3. Whether the individual has information that will assist the investigation or otherwise support or refute allegations. See Limited Immunity FAQs Page No. 2.
  4. The likelihood of obtaining relevant information with or without the grant of limited immunity.
  5. The nature of the potential allegations involved in the case.
  6. Whether the individual’s institution supports the request for limited immunity.
  7. Whether time is of the essence.
  8. Other relevant circumstances.

How is the offer of a grant of limited immunity presented?

The offer of a grant of limited immunity is presented in writing to the individual. The grant of limited immunity letter is signed by the chief panel member of the IRP.

May an individual confer with legal counsel or advisor to consider an offer of limited immunity?

Yes. Recipients of or candidates for limited immunity may be represented by personal legal counsel or another advisor throughout the process.

What are an individual's obligations under a grant of limited immunity?

A grant of limited immunity is expressly conditioned upon an individual’s full cooperation in the investigation. The individual must make himself/herself available and provide complete and truthful information in his/her interview with the CCU. The individual must also provide to the CCU all relevant information and documents under his/her control. The individual may also be required to appear, either in person, by video or teleconference, and provide information in a hearing before the IRP and satisfy any other conditions imposed by the IRP.

Are there any special considerations related to limited immunity granted in an academic misconduct matter?

Yes. Limited immunity will protect student-athletes from facing a violation of Bylaw 14 for the academic misconduct, which could have resulted in permanent ineligibility for the student-athlete. However, if an institution withdraws a fraudulent credit and/or changes the student-athlete’s grade as a result of the misconduct, the student-athlete will need to be academically recertified by their NCAA institution to ensure they are still eligible under progress-toward-degree and other academic eligibility legislation. Based on the results of the recertification, it is possible that a student-athlete is ineligible under the applicable progress-toward-degree rules, transfer rules or initial-eligibility rules found in Bylaw 14. Limited immunity does not cover academic ineligibility in this scenario. A student-athlete, however, does have the opportunity to regain his or her eligibility based on subsequent academic progress.

Can a grant of limited immunity be revoked?

Yes. The chief panel member of the IRP may revoke a grant of limited immunity.

Who can request that a grant of limited immunity be revoked and under what circumstances will the CCU request to have limited immunity revoked?

The CCU may request revocation of limited immunity. In the rare instance when revocation of limited immunity is sought, the CCU will exercise appropriate caution and will only pursue revocation if the staff determines the IRP could conclude that an individual violated the terms of his/her limited immunity agreement.

How may the CCU request the revocation of a grant of limited immunity?

The CCU may request that a grant of limited immunity be revoked by submitting a petition to the chief panel member of the IRP. The petition shall state the basis for the revocation and shall be forwarded to all involved parties.

When can a grant of limited immunity be revoked?

At any time during the pendency of the investigation, during the processing of the case or at a hearing before the IRP.

Can the IRP revoke a grant of limited immunity independent of a request for revocation by the CCU?

Yes. As the grantor of limited immunity, the IRP may revoke limited immunity on its own.

What type of information will a revocation of a grant of limited immunity be based upon?

The chief panel member of the IRP shall base the revocation decision on information presented that is determined to be credible, persuasive and of a kind on which reasonably prudent persons rely in the conduct of serious affairs. (See Division I Bylaw 19.11.5.8.3)

What does it mean if a grant of limited immunity is revoked?

The CCU may bring the underlying violation(s) of NCAA legislation against the individual pursuant to the notice procedures set forth in Bylaw 19.11.5. The CCU may also allege a Bylaw 10.1 unethical-conduct violation against the individual.

What is an example of how a grant of limited immunity would work in the context of a student-athlete?

The CCU has received information that State University (State) men’s basketball student-athlete James Doe (Doe) received a $10,000 cash payment from John Smith (Smith), State assistant men’s basketball coach. The cash payment was promised to Doe by Smith during his recruitment, and Smith made the payment when Doe enrolled at State. Doe has known Smith since he was eight years old and has developed a close relationship with Smith.

Based on the information developed, the CCU schedules an interview of Doe, who is represented by counsel. At the interview, Doe is reminded of his obligation to provide complete and truthful information. Despite this admonition, Doe fails to acknowledge receiving any cash payments from Smith.

Due to Doe’s close and longstanding relationship with Smith, the CCU believes it is unlikely that Doe will acknowledge receipt of the $10,000 from Smith without a grant of limited immunity. Based on those factors, the CCU seeks a grant of limited immunity for Doe from the IRP, and the grant of limited immunity is approved by the chief panel member.

The CCU reviews the terms and conditions of the limited immunity agreement with Doe and his counsel. The CCU further reminds Doe that as long as he provides truthful and complete information concerning his involvement in receiving cash from Smith, the limited immunity protects him from being placed at risk for violating NCAA legislation. The CCU further reminds Doe that pursuant to his limited agreement, his NCAA eligibility, including his initial eligibility, will not be affected by information that Doe reports.

Doe subsequently reports the following information to the CCU:

Smith promised Doe a $10,000 cash payment to induce Doe to sign with State and told Doe that the cash payment would be paid to him upon his enrollment. Two days after Doe enrolled at State, Smith called Doe on his mobile phone and asked Doe to meet him at an off-campus restaurant. Doe met Smith at the restaurant and, once they were seated, Smith passed an envelope under the table to Doe. Smith told Doe that the envelope contained “what was promised to you.” Doe did not open the envelope at the restaurant, but instead placed it in his jacket pocket.

When Doe returned to his on-campus apartment, he opened the envelope and counted 100 $100 bills. Doe reported that of the cash payment he received from Smith, he only spent around $350 on a video game system and the rest of the money was in a shoe box in his apartment. The CCU determined that Doe provided truthful and complete information during his interview concerning receipt of the cash payment from Smith.

Accordingly, Doe met the terms and conditions of his limited immunity agreement; therefore, the CCU would not name Doe or place him at risk for violating NCAA inducements or extra benefits legislation. Additionally, Doe’s eligibility for NCAA competition, including participating in NCAA championships, would also not be affected.

Does a grant of limited immunity to an individual protect that individual's current (and/or prior) institution?

No. Limited immunity protects individuals, not institutions. For example, in the scenario provided above, the grant of limited immunity protected Doe from NCAA consequences, such as going through the NCAA student-athlete reinstatement process, for his involvement in the $10,000 impermissible benefit. However, Doe’s grant of limited immunity does not apply to State University or Smith (since he was not offered his own grant of limited immunity). Therefore, the CCU could still allege the underlying violation in a notice of allegations, and the institution and Smith, if named as an at-risk individual, could still be subject to NCAA penalties, including that Doe participated while ineligible (if applicable).

Download Limited Immunity FAQs

IARP Secure Filing System

The purpose of the IARP SFS External User Guide is to provide guidance to the membership, involved parties and their representatives on how to navigate the secure filing system.

Download the External User Guide
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Dr Jim Harris

James (Jim) T. Harris III

President, University of San Diego

James T. Harris III has served as the president and a professor of education at the University of San Diego (USD) since 2015. During his time as president, USD has been recognized for its work in environmental sustainability, diversity and inclusion, and advancing the public good. For example, in 2021 The Princeton Review ranked USD among the 50 most “green” colleges.

In 2021, USD launched the Horizon Project, a five-year initiative designed to move USD into the forefront of Catholic higher education by following Pope Francis’ guidance that as a Catholic community we must be more “open, inclusive and welcoming.” In the fall of 2021, USD enrolled its most diverse class of students in its history. Last year, USD was ranked #1 in the nation for public service by Washington Monthly magazine. In 2017, the university was recognized as having the most beautiful campus in America by The Princeton Review. USD athletic teams compete in the West Coast Conference and Pioneer Football League.

Dr. Harris also holds the title of President Emeritus of Widener University and earlier in his career served as the President of Defiance College. Dr. Harris has served in leadership roles on several national education associations including CASE, NCAA, Campus Compact, NAICU, CUMU as well as on multiple other state and local governing boards. He currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Monarch School Project in San Diego, a public k-12 school dedicated to serving children who are unhoused.

He has been named one of the Top Fifty Character Building Presidents in the Nation by the John Templeton Foundation, received the Chief Executive Leadership Award by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, and has been recognized by the NAACP and for his work in support of civil rights. His alma maters have formally recognized him for his service to society, and the Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees awarded him the distinguished alumnus award, the highest honor given to a graduate. He remains an active scholar and teacher.

Nadja West

Nadja West

U.S. Army Lieutenant General (Ret.), 44th Army Surgeon General and Former Commanding General of the U.S. Army Medical Command

Lieutenant General (Ret) Nadja West is the 44th U.S. Army Surgeon General, and the former Commanding General of U.S. Army Medical Command (USAMEDCOM). In 2015, West became the first African American woman 3-Star General in the Army’s history and is the highest-ranking woman to ever graduate from the United States Military Academy West Point. 

A graduate of George Washington School of Medicine, West completed residencies in Family Medicine and Dermatology, and has held various clinical, operational and leadership positions throughout her 30+ year career as a U.S. Soldier. 

West served as a Hauser Leader at the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Public Leadership from 2019 to 2020 and serves on the boards of directors for Johnson & Johnson, Nucor Corporation and Tenet Healthcare Corporation.  She is a trustee of the National Recreation Foundation, an organization dedicated to enhancing the role of recreation as a positive force in improving the quality of life of youth. She is also a trustee of Americares, a non-profit that saves lives and improves health for people affected by poverty or disaster so they can reach their full potential.  West was recently selected as a trustee of the board of Mount St. Mary’s University and as a board member of the Bob Woodruff Foundation. 

Nadja West

Nadja West

U.S. Army Lieutenant General (Ret.), 44th Army Surgeon General and Former Commanding General of the U.S. Army Medical Command

Lieutenant General (Ret) Nadja West is the 44th U.S. Army Surgeon General, and the former Commanding General of U.S. Army Medical Command (USAMEDCOM). In 2015, West became the first African American woman 3-Star General in the Army’s history and is the highest-ranking woman to ever graduate from the United States Military Academy West Point.

A graduate of George Washington School of Medicine, West completed residencies in Family Medicine and Dermatology, and has held various clinical, operational and leadership positions throughout her 30+ year career as a U.S. Soldier.

West served as a Hauser Leader at the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Public Leadership from 2019 to 2020 and serves on the boards of directors for Johnson & Johnson, Nucor Corporation and Tenet Healthcare Corporation.  She is a trustee of the National Recreation Foundation, an organization dedicated to enhancing the role of recreation as a positive force in improving the quality of life of youth. She is also a trustee of Americares, a non-profit that saves lives and improves health for people affected by poverty or disaster so they can reach their full potential.  West was recently selected as a trustee of the board of Mount St. Mary’s University and as a board member of the Bob Woodruff Foundation. 

Nadja West

Nadja West

U.S. Army Lieutenant General (Ret.), 44th Army Surgeon General and Former Commanding General of the U.S. Army Medical Command

Lieutenant General (Ret) Nadja West is the 44th U.S. Army Surgeon General, and the former Commanding General of U.S. Army Medical Command (USAMEDCOM). In 2015, West became the first African American woman 3-Star General in the Army’s history and is the highest-ranking woman to ever graduate from the United States Military Academy West Point.

A graduate of George Washington School of Medicine, West completed residencies in Family Medicine and Dermatology, and has held various clinical, operational and leadership positions throughout her 30+ year career as a U.S. Soldier.

West served as a Hauser Leader at the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Public Leadership from 2019 to 2020 and serves on the boards of directors for Johnson & Johnson, Nucor Corporation and Tenet Healthcare Corporation.  She is a trustee of the National Recreation Foundation, an organization dedicated to enhancing the role of recreation as a positive force in improving the quality of life of youth. She is also a trustee of Americares, a non-profit that saves lives and improves health for people affected by poverty or disaster so they can reach their full potential.  West was recently selected as a trustee of the board of Mount St. Mary’s University and as a board member of the Bob Woodruff Foundation.