The NCAA tried to help keep Nevin Shapiro out of prison, or at least reduce his sentence. Former director of enforcement Ameen Najjar sent a recommendation letter to a judge on Shapiro’s behalf. The letter, on NCAA letterhead, stressed Shapiro’s “unique depth of knowledge and experience” and his value as a “speaker” and “consultant.” The NCAA, as per usual, offered no comment.
“Throughout the course of our interactions, it is my belief that Mr. Shapiro possesses a unique depth of knowledge and experience concerning representatives athletics interest (‘Boosters’), agents and the provision of extra-benefits to student-athletes,” Najjar wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press.
Let’s take stock for a second. The NCAA tried to keep a man who shamelessly stole hundreds of millions of peoples’ savings out of prison. They did this because of his help (and potential future help) catching student-athletes, many from poor upbringings, accepting free dinners. Honestly. What sort of corrupt, depraved set of values would lead to that moral assessment?
The NCAA is not fighting a war. They are not safeguarding virtue. They enforce a set of rules designed to protect the tax-free status of a now billion-dollar basketball tournament. Persistence in the belief they are doing a former will continue degrading their ability to execute the latter.
[USA Today Sports]
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