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NCAA changes would be sweeping

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By The Associated Press
Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, 8:14 p.m.

INDIANAPOLIS — Rule-breakers are about to find out just how tough the NCAA can be.

After debating changes for more than a year, the board of directors is poised to vote Tuesday on an enforcement proposal that would streamline the infractions process, impose harsher sanctions on violators and expand the current two-tiered penalty structure to four.

NCAA president Mark Emmert has been pushing for reform since a spate of scandals hit college sports last year. If the proposal is approved Tuesday as expected, the changes would be sweeping.

Schools and coaches would have to contend with an infractions hearing and also may have to deal with accusations of aggravating circumstances.

Violators found in violation of a “serious breach of conduct” with aggravating circumstances could face postseason bans of two to four years and fines of millions of dollars from specific events or gross revenue generated by the sport during years in which sanctions occurred — just like Penn State earlier this year. In the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, the NCAA banned the Nittany Lions' football program from postseason play until the 2017 season and levied a $60 million fine on the school.

Another committee is trying to shrink the rule book. No formal proposal is expected before January.

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