The Miami Hurricanes remain in limbo. The NCAA has suspended its inquiry into the Nevin Shapiro scandal, after finding improper conduct from…its own investigators. It will not rule on the Miami case until it finishes an independent investigation…of itself.
In light of this incident and other recent events involving the enforcement staff, President Emmert has commissioned an external review of the enforcement program. The review will include a thorough investigation into the current issue as well as the overall enforcement environment, to ensure operation of the program is consistent with the essential principles of integrity and accountability.
NCAA enforcement staff conspired with Nevin Shapiro’s lawyer to “improperly subpoena and depose witnesses” during Shapiro’s bankruptcy case. Basically, they manipulated the legal case to compel testimony from figures under oath (The NCAA has no subpoena power). Nevin Shapiro’s attorney was on the freaking NCAA payroll. Much of the evidence against Miami is therefore “improperly obtained” and unusable.
This is a huge blow for the NCAA. The organization’s authority rests on the perception of its authority. Last summer the NCAA marauded into Happy Valley and imposed crippling sanctions and a $60 million fine without concrete justification. Now, the NCAA can’t even be relied upon to follow its own rule of law during an investigation. This also calls into question their conduct during every other investigation. What an absolute farce.
The fair thing, in light of this, would be to let Miami off with time-served, a self-imposed two-year bowl ban and drop the cases against the coaches involved, but since when does the NCAA care about fairness?
[Photo via USA Today Sports]
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