Somebody asked me the other day what to make of the Jack Bauerle situation and my answer was that I didn’t have much of an answer. But John Infante points out that it’s an interesting test case for the new NCAA enforcement regime and that Georgia appears to be following the proper protocols.
Taking this information and looking at the NCAA’s penalty matrix, we can see how the penalties faced by the institution and coach differ based on the mitigating and aggravating factors. For Georgia, a Level I violation with mitigation puts most penalties in a range that includes no penalty. The only penalty required for a Level I violation with mitigation is a $5,000 fine. Bauerle on the other hand could be facing a Level I violation with aggravation. That would include a minimum show-cause order of five years and a minimum suspension of 50% of the season. The show-cause order could also restrict him from all athletically related duties, effectively banning him from coaching. Without aggravation, he would be facing a minimum two year show-cause order with partial restrictions of athletically related duties and suspension for 30% of a season.
So far the early indications are that the system is working as intented. A serious violation occurred, was reported promptly, and will be resolved relatively quickly after it was discovered. Georgia is getting credit for having a strong recent history of rule compliance and for detecting, reporting, and acknowledging the violation. Meanwhile the coach, who is alleged to be almost entirely responsible as an individual, is facing the more serious sanctions.
Which, in a situation in which the coach is the bad actor, seems like the proper distribution of punishment. A shocking thought, I know, but could it be that, for once, the NCAA is getting its act together?