Feb 18, 2013, 4:14 PM EDT
You’re going to read a lot of words about the NCAA’s report on an external investigation into how they handled their own investigation into Miami and the accusations made by former booster and Ponzi-schemer Nevin Shapiro, but there is really only one line that you need to pay attention to:
The external review found that the NCAA enforcement staff “did not violate a specific bylaw or law.”
– The NCAA hired Shaprio’s attorney, Maria Elena Perez, and paid her more than $18,000 (for more than $57,000 worth of work) specifically for the ability to sit in on and provide questions for depositions given under oath. The NCAA doesn’t have subpoena power.
– This happened, according to NCAA president Mark Emmert, despite the NCAA’s General Counsel directly telling the enforcement staff — specifically, investigator Ameen Najjar and his direct superiors, Julie Roe Lach and Tom Hosty — multiple times NOT to do to so.
– Najjar and Roe Lach have lost their jobs with the NCAA as a result.
– Richard Johanningmeier, the investigator that was involved with the Todd McNair and USC investigation, spent $8,200 — $4,500 of which went directly into Shapiro’s commissary account in prison — to interview him in prison. He even bought a burner, a disposable cell phone, to get in touch with Shapiro.
– More than 20% of the information gathered during this process has been determined to be tainted and will not be used as the NCAA furthers their case against Miami.
– John Duncan, a Kansas City attorney that has been named the interim Vice President of Enforcement, is currently representing the NCAA in a case against a former coach at the University of Buffalo.
And there wasn’t a single violation of a specific bylaw or law throughout the entire investigation into Miami?!?
How is that possible?
What makes matters worse is that all of this is happening while the NCAA is already dealing with enough turmoil to make Mark Emmert regret ever taking over the role as president of the NCAA. One investigator was fired after her boyfriend spent a plane ride detailing how Shabazz Muhammad was never going to be allowed to play college basketball. A judge used the terms “ill will or hatred” and “reckless disregard for the truth” in regards to the NCAA’s investigation into McNair.
Isn’t this the definition of a lack of institutional control?
The investigative arm of the institution is ignoring the directives provided by the legal arm, instead hiring lawyers to use their subpoena power and paying witnesses for access to their information all while developing quite the reputation for malicious and vindictive investigations.
Failure to monitor, indeed.
That’s precisely why you are going to hear people call for Mark Emmert’s job and for a complete overhaul of the NCAA, and not just the enforcement arm. Is Emmert really this clueless as to what is going on in his organization? Jim Isch, who is more-or-less the second most important person in the NCAA, actually approved the payment that Roe Lach made to Shaprio’s attorney. ESPN.com reported earlier that General Counsel Donald Remy was aware of and approved the payment, as well.
And yet, none of this was actually a violation on any NCAA bylaw.
That’s a problem that may be bigger than the fact that Emmert apparently has no control over anyone that works for him.
I think it may be time to simply scrap it all and start over from scratch.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.
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