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Jon Duncan Enters Final Third of NCAA Enforcement Term

Dennis Dodd of

Now that he is the head man in Indianapolis, [Jon] Duncan has mostly been that unnoticed umpire. Scandal has died down the past nine months. The enforcement department/staff has become less of a lightning rod. Inside the NCAA, Duncan is getting high marks, according to sources.

After a expansion and innovation (for better or worse) in the NCAA’s enforcement staff, a quieter period was bound to follow. The events of early last year in the Miami case made that quiet rebuilding less a cyclical inevitability and more a necessity. Now with a fully staffed office and a major case like the Washington allegations in a new system, that quiet period is likely going to end.

The problem with the “quiet umpire” tag is that it makes it hard to determine whether the NCAA is doing their job. If many schools, coaches, and student-athletes are facing allegations, it is seen as evidence that the penalties do not work and people keep cheating. If there are fewer cases and enforcement appears less active, the common explanation is that the NCAA is looking the other way.

The next challenge for Duncan or whoever replaces him in September is to demonstrate that NCAA enforcement is doing its job even when the Committee on Infractions is not facing a pipeline of cases. To answer the question of how to makes sure the umpire is noticed without blowing a call.

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