Missteps? The NCAA flat out plummeted off the cliff on this one.
No matter how you define it, the Miami investigation could become the NCAA’s Waterloo. It’s a battle the NCAA and its president, Mark Emmert, can’t win.
If the NCAA comes down hard on the university, questions will remain whether or not the investigation into the Hurricanes was fair and just. After these latest revelations, one would think this case is far from that point especially when you consider the NCAA admits it paid the attorney of its key witness, former booster Nevin Shapiro, to use illegal subpoena power to gain evidence against the school.
You don’t have to be a high-priced lawyer to figure out it’s a no-no.
On the other hand, if the NCAA hands down a slap on the wrist, there will be those who claim the organization didn’t do enough and will question whether previous sanctions handed down to programs like USC, Ohio State or Penn State were too harsh.
It’s a fair question and one I’m sure will be brought up in the coming months.
In response to its external investigation into its enforcement department, the NCAA reportedly fired its vice president of enforcement, Julie Roe Lach. She was the one who apparently approved the payments made to Maria Elena Perez, the attorney representing Shapiro in his bankruptcy trial.
She joins a handfull of investigators who have left or been fired for their handling of this case and several others.
In Lach’s case, her decision to approve those payments means the NCAA will now throw out evidence obtained from Perez. Evidence that accounts for 20 percent of the case against Miami. Still, Emmert believes the NCAA has enough evidence without it to move forward with its decision against the school.
Either way, it’s almost pointless now.
This case goes beyond what happened at the University of Miami several decades ago.
The focus shifts towards what happens now with the state of the NCAA. How does an organization that is suppose to oversee a growing industry like college athletics, find a way to keep up?
Several weeks ago, I called for change at the NCAA.
Maybe that change should come from the top.
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