Blog Entry

Q&A with Julie Roe Lach

Posted on: January 18, 2011 1:42 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer

It’s been a busy few months for NCAA vice president of enforcement Julie Roe Lach. After taking over officially at the start of November, Roe Lach has been busy meeting with compliance officers and those connected with enforcement as part of the NCAA’s top-to-bottom review of enforcement processes. Additionally, she’s had to deal with several high profile cases that have attracted intense media attention. 

At the recent NCAA convention in San Antonio, Roe Lach took the time to discuss a number of topics, including new legislation, high profile cases and her thoughts on how busy the enforcement staff has become this past year. Although you’re not directly responsible, what’s been the reaction from the membership on the Ohio State and Cam Newton cases? 

Roe Lach: The cases you mentioned were decided by our Student-Athlete Reinstatement department, which is actually housed in the Academic and Membership Affairs branch. That group decides all athlete eligibility issues. I work in the enforcement side and we investigate and deal with institutional responsibilities, boosters, coaches, administrators. I don’t go and talk to them. If issues come up that’s one thing. (The compliance offices) understand there are different processes in play. Those discussions, if they have questions, comments, support, or concerns, would be directed towards our Academic and Membership affairs group. President Emmert said he will be introducing legislation that will look to close some of the loopholes regarding parents soliciting pay for play, do you have any details on the legislation? 

Roe Lach: There’s been a lot of input not just from the national office but staff, from our enforcement experience, the Academic Affairs group, also membership input. That’s part of what President Emmert has shared. I met with the football coaches earlier this week and shared the concept with them. President Emmert has also met with a group of their leaders and he’s working to get together with basketball coaches as well. Right now, it’s in concept form. The ideas are there but we want to make sure that we’re going to get it right. That’s why there’s not any emergency legislation being adopted at the convention. We recognize the need to bring in all the stakeholders and say, ‘What makes sense here, what doesn’t, what are we missing?’ We hope that by taking the time now, in the drafting process, that something concrete can go forward in April. Even then, if the board adopts it, it can still go out for comment if they want more input from the membership at that point. Agents have been in the news a lot recently, what are some of the steps the NCAA is taking to make sure they are not violating rules by talking with or paying athletes? 

Roe Lach: I think it’s important to note that our rules currently allow for conversation and seeking advice by prospects from agents and advisors. The issue is you can’t have a contract and you can’t take benefits. Where I think there’s confusion at times is, schools or teams will have rules that say no contact with an agent during the season. And then of course the NFLPA has what’s coined the ‘Junior Rule.’ The one issue is just making sure everyone understands what rules currently exists and by whom. I don’t think we’re suggesting rules that we’re going to somehow restrict that access that is currently allowed. It’s just the issue is larger than that. Rather than approach it from a regulatory standpoint, let’s look at it from an information standpoint. What information is currently going to our student-athletes that have the potential to go professional, when is that information going to them and who’s giving it to them. Are they getting it when they come on campus and saying, ‘I want to go to the NFL or NBA.’ And if they’re not getting it from a coach or academic advisor or someone they’ve developed a relationship with on their campus, then are they getting it from someone that doesn’t have their best interests in mind and how can we fix that. Rather than passing new rules, let’s really look at what information is available and who’s giving it and what should be available and who’s giving it and when. Starting with the USC case earlier last year, it seems as though we’ve had a lot more “high profile” cases recently, is there something you have to tell schools to focus on in light of these cases? 

Roe Lach: I think one thing we continuously tell schools is the need to recognize what are the issues that you have on your campus. Whether its elite athlete issues or you’re in a college town with a couple of elite big time boosters that want to employ your student-athletes, there’s a laundry list of issues that don’t exist on every campus. Maybe one or two exist on each campus. So what our school do, and do a good job of, is say here’s our situation, here are the potential landmines so we need to be looking out for these issues and then what do we need to do from an education standpoint and then from a monitoring standpoint. Has there been any thought to creating a Football Focus Group to deal with issues similar to the Basketball Focus Group? 

Roe Lach: What we’re doing is exploring if we need to have a dedicated group focused on football. So we’re working on it. We’re trying to figure out, and we think we know what the issues are, but rather than just base that on our current knowledge, we’re doing some outreach. We’re going to be out there in the spring. We’re already attending some of the elite events, 7-on-7 tournaments, going to high schools in hotbed regions where football prospects pull from to talk to those folks and say what are the issues from your perspective, especially in the recruiting environment. Then how does that translate into what do we need to do from an enforcement standpoint to be the most effective. Do we need to have staff dedicated to football like we do in basketball? Do we need to approach it from a different standpoint rather than have four people do you have eight who spend half their time doing football or something else? Do we need to hire some former football coaches because we don’t have the level of expertise we need? I think all those questions need to be asked but it’s premature to start answering them. We need to get more information.” You’ve worked in enforcement for awhile, can you remember a time where you’ve been busier than this? 

Roe Lach: I’ve been getting that question a lot. We certainly are busy. I think most of our issues are generating more media scrutiny or attention, as well as the public. I don’t know if that means we’re busier, it’s just in the past, so many of our issues were not on the front page. So the level and scrutiny wasn’t there. It’s not like we’ve had this huge upswing in cases. We have seen (a rise), like on the agent side, but that’s been a five year effort to develop sources and outreach as a result. As a result of that, the staff has generated some cases that they weren’t generating five years ago because we didn’t have the knowledge and contact base. I don’t know if that means they’re busier but the work has changed a little bit.

Category: NCAAF

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 22, 2011 5:52 am

Q&A with Julie Roe Lach

Im recently using a just a handful of all of these thoughts but the truth is can still see quite a few some that will be brand new to my home.

Since: Apr 19, 2011
Posted on: July 13, 2011 10:56 pm

Q&A with Julie Roe Lach

They are not finished with Aubarn yet.....far from it. The barn going down will be the biggest story in the last 20 years. they are waaaay out there, not just some tattoos, there is huge, criminal things happening 

Since: Nov 16, 2010
Posted on: January 19, 2011 12:51 pm

Q&A with Julie Roe Lach

I have suggestion for new rule book. Instead of so many rules it's same as IRS tax code do this. We need few rules.

1. Allow with scholarship for players to get a monthly per diem that is reasonable. $500 to $1000 whatever it takes so they don't have to play, study and work. Cut excuse or need of players to make money doing anything wrong. So rule is if any player or family member cught taking money over that per month from any other soruce but school scholarship payment they cannot not play for 1 year min. That is it you get paid by an other source you're suspended 1 year. The entire point is to come down hard on pay for play from boosters, agents to any family member period. It's not as bad as when SMU in 1980's was pay for play but still goes on I bet a lot. Allow for a coach or anyone if needed to pay for a players air fare etc in emergency.

The $'s paid to player would go for anything even if given a car etc.

2. If you cheat on school work or tests. Done for 1 year min.

3. Keep a C avg or cannot play until grades quailify.

All the other BS like how much practice time violation Michigan had or a caoch texted a player and violated some rule etc. has to go.

The major rule to enforce is to ensure no one is paid big money to play for that school. The rest is really too many rules and nonsense.

Since: Jan 18, 2008
Posted on: January 18, 2011 9:12 pm

Q&A with Julie Roe Lach

My question for Ms. Julie Roe Lach is simply this, "why with the Ohio State and 'Cam Newton' cases, when wrongdoing was proved, why was no punishmen
t not administered until after it didn't matter?".  The NCAA has no credibility with anyone but the Ohio State and Auburn fans.  NCAA stands for "No Clue At All" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Since: Sep 7, 2010
Posted on: January 18, 2011 7:29 pm

Q&A with Julie Roe Lach


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