Families and athletes have always struggled to get answers to their eligibility questions from the NCAA. Despite the 500,000 pieces of mail and 180,000 phone calls a year to the NCAA Eligibility Center, many families are in the dark about NCAA rules and regulations.
In 2009, John Infante (then a compliance officer at Loyola Marymount) began writing the Bylaw Blog, covering issues in the NCAA compliance world. Eventually, he was asked to begin blogging on the NCAA website, and his posts received thousands of views. Here is a great story written by Brad Wolverton that details John’s story and what has led him to discontinue blogging.
This is a tremendous loss for those involved in recruiting and compliance with the NCAA. Personally, I have been reading the Bylaw Blog for years and have found John’s expertise and style of writing to be essential in understanding some of the very complex NCAA rules. One of the best things about the Internet is that it allows anyone the opportunity to share their expertise. For organizations like the NCAA, getting the word of their experts out to the public is something that has been lacking. In this day and age, that is simply just not good enough.
Each year, almost 100,000 athletes register with the NCAA unnecessarily. We have heard every reason: from registering because they want a coach to find them, to registering because they thought a coach could not contact them until they had done so. Neither of these is true. Even more disappointing than the misunderstandings of the athletes and families is when we hear from high school counselors who are unsure how the NCAA works. In some cases, the people in charge of the eligibility of students are not even sure how the NCAA works.
John chose to shut down his blog because families and athletes were finding his contact information and contacting him directly. His passion for blogging was beginning to interfere with his day job as a compliance officer, and he made the choice to commit to his job. What John’s blog shows, together with the thousands of athletes we hear from every year, is that the NCAA now, more than ever, needs to be able to inform athletes and have experts share their opinions and explanations of how the NCAA works.
Thank you to John for the years of insight, and we are all looking forward to the day you can come back to blogging.