Three neutrals will assist the NCAA in upholding the mission and values of the association

Irvine, Calif. – JAMS, the largest private provider of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services worldwide, is proud to announce that Jeffrey Benz, Hon. Bernetta Bush (Ret.) and Hon. Hugh Fraser (Ret.) have been appointed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) Independent Accountability Oversight Committee to the inaugural Independent Resolution Panel (IRP). Mr. Benz will also serve as chair of the newly formed Infractions Referral Committee.

The addition of the IRP is part of a series of significant changes made by NCAA members in August 2018, including the launch of the Independent Accountability Resolution Process (IARP).

The IARP is responsible for reviewing select complex infraction cases in Division I, and now includes independent investigators, advocates and decision-makers, with the goals of minimizing perceived conflicts of interest and adding different perspectives to the review of infractions matters.

The IRP will hear cases in the IARP, working in conjunction with the Complex Case Unit to review findings and the subsequent collegiate response to those findings, ultimately overseeing the case hearing and deciding penalties.

“As with other industries, college sports can benefit from neutral individuals to resolve its disputes. Our JAMS neutrals are of the highest caliber and have extensive experience working with parties in all aspects of sports-related disagreements,” said Chris Poole, JAMS president and CEO. “We believe that these neutrals will be invaluable as inaugural members of the Independent Resolution Panel and we’re committed to the continued growth of our sports practice.”

Jeffrey Benz, Esq., FCIArb, CEDS, is a nationally recognized expert in the resolution of complex and multi-party matters. He has arbitrated more than 200 doping and sports discipline and qualification claims, including cases before the Court of Arbitration for Sport and those involving UEFA and FIFA, as well as several domestic cases involving high-profile and Olympic athletes.

Hon. Bernetta D. Bush (Ret.) joined JAMS in 2007 after over 15 years of distinguished service to the Circuit Court of Cook County, Chicago, Illinois. She has particular expertise in disputes that arise in the context of higher education, including Title IX disputes and investigations, faculty ethics advice and disciplinary actions, special education law and procurement issues for public institutions. In 2013, she served as chairperson of an athletic program certification committee for an NCAA Division I university.

Hon. Justice Hugh L. Fraser (Ret.) joined JAMS after an accomplished career as a justice of the Ontario Court of Justice (Ottawa). He is a former Olympian and a recognized international expert in sports law. He was appointed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s first ad hoc court and has served as either sole or panel arbitrator in dozens of sports-related disputes.

More details on the NCAA’s new independent infractions process can be viewed here.