President Mark Emmert has selected Derrick Crawford, a proven leader with decades of legal, regulatory and higher education experience, as the NCAA’s new vice president of hearing operations.
Crawford, currently NCAA managing director of enforcement — investigations and processing, will begin his new role May 24.
“Derrick brings deep regulatory experience, incredible knowledge and a strong record of serving the membership while supporting the integrity of college sports,” Emmert said. “With his skill set, combined with a demonstrated leadership acumen, Derrick is well-positioned to making an immediate and significant impact supporting this important work for the Association.”
In his new role, Crawford will serve as direct liaison to the NCAA Committees on Infractions and Infractions Appeals Committees in all three divisions and oversee the staffs that support the committees. These committees decide on penalties for member schools and involved individuals who violate NCAA rules.
He also will provide strategic coordination for the NCAA’s Independent Accountability Resolution Process. Specifically, Crawford will serve as the NCAA’s primary liaison with the Independent Accountability Oversight Committee, Infractions Referral Committee and the Independent Resolution Panel.
“I am honored and beyond excited to have been selected to serve as vice president of hearing operations,” Crawford said. “I have spent roughly one-third of my 30-year professional career actively engaged in the NCAA infractions process. I am strongly committed to the principles of integrity, competitive fairness and sportsmanship in intercollegiate athletics. I look forward to actively working with the membership, national office colleagues and practitioners in ensuring that those principles are consistently supported and advanced.”
Crawford also will serve as the primary spokesperson for the infractions process. He will report to Scott Bearby, interim senior vice president of the office of legal affairs, human resources and hearing operations.
In his role as NCAA managing director of enforcement since 2013, Crawford provided oversight of the NCAA’s investigations and processing group for the three NCAA member divisions and more than 1,100-member institutions. Before joining the NCAA national office staff, Crawford served in various senior-level roles related to diversity, equity and inclusion spaces within higher education. He was the first chief diversity officer and ombudsperson at Cal State San Marcos and the chief equal employment opportunity and diversity officer for The Citadel.
In addition, Crawford brings decades of experience within legal affairs, both as an attorney and investigator. Crawford served as counsel for policy and litigation at the National Football League for eight years. He also served as an assistant attorney general in Alabama. Before his work with the Alabama Attorney General’s Office, Crawford spent five years with the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a special agent and legal advisor.
Crawford received a Bachelor of Arts in political science and Juris Doctor from Alabama.