So, the NCAA released the report about it's investigation of Miami and this thing deserves the Really?!? treatment, but I haven't had to opportunity to read it yet, so I'll just throw out generalizations and opinion or maybe I'll make ignorant insinuations like a Pulitzer Prize winning CNN reporter, that a Google search could easily resolve. You can read the actual report for yourself here and see the exhibits here. In the meantime, here's some reaction
Dana O'Neil, ESPN.com:
So far on Emmert's watch, the NCAA has bungled and fumbled multiple investigations (Cam Newton, Shabazz Muhammad and now Miami); fired two NCAA investigators; saw the exits of two enforcement administrators (director of enforcement Bill Benjamin resigned in June, just eight months after taking the job); and gone well outside of its own rulebook and sidestepped due process to punish Penn State, which generated a lawsuit from none other than the state of Pennsylvania.
Yet Emmert continues to pontificate from his self-righteous pulpit, ironically employing the same line of defense that forced the NCAA to enact the new rule for head coaches:
"I knew nothing.''
Stewart Mandel, SI.com:
The report concludes that while no NCAA bylaws were broken, Najjar and company did violate internal NCAA protocol (by hiring an attorney without legal counsel's approval) and that Najjar "apparently never considered whether he was inappropriately using the bankruptcy process for the NCAA's purposes. "...For a host of reasons, the Perez proposal was unquestionably a bad idea for the NCAA," the report stated.
All of which begs the question: For such an unquestionably bad idea, how come so many NCAA employees -- from the investigators working below Najjar all the way up to the No. 2 person (Isch) in the entire organization -- either failed to see or refused to accept it?
There are several insinuations in the report that enforcement staffers might not have discerned anything untoward about the arrangement because it didn't seem significantly different from past cases where investigators relied on legal cases related to their subjects. In other words, NCAA investigators are so numb from their lack of subpoena power that piggybacking off those that do -- even if it involves manipulating someone's bankruptcy case -- is considered fairly standard practice.
Given that revelation, surely Emmert will ask Wainstein's firm to go back and review previous cases Najjar, Hosty and Roe Lach worked on, right? There may be other examples of tainted evidence that were used to levy sanctions against universities. Surely Emmert would want to avoid another "embarrassment for the association and its staff," as he dubbed Monday's findings.
Dennis Dodd, CBSSports.com:
The NCAA is guilty of failure to monitor and lack of institutional control. Guilty of its own rules, which it applies arbitrarily and -- at times -- unfairly.
Take a dip in the deep end of that pool of irony.
To sum up Monday's nothing-to-see-here developments: While investigating a rogue booster at Miami , the NCAA had to sweep up a mess caused by a rogue investigator. The NCAA admitted to lack of oversight and fired its enforcement director.
Ah, but it hardly ends there. The NCAA No. 2 man (Jim Isch) approved an expenditure of more than $20,000 that he apparently never followed up on.
Send me to that pay window.
Oh yeah, don't forget this nugget:
And there's this: The NCAA revealed that it purchased a disposable mobile phone and paid for Nevin Shapiro's use of the prison phone system. The NCAA expended $8200 to fund communications with Shapiro, including the transfer of $4500 to the prison commissary account from which Shapiro pays for his communication. That allowed the NCAA to call Shapiro repeatedly during the investigation. So the NCAA paid not only Shapiro's attorney, but Shapiro. Charming.
Lesson for life - remember, listen to your lawyer.
In other Penn State news this weekend: Men's lacrosse upset #9 Denver 15-12 in Jacksonville during the Moe's Southwest Grill Classic on Sunday. The win catapulted the team from #15 up to #8/#9 in this week's polls and earned Shane Sturgis CAA's "Player of the Week" honor.
Up next for the Nittany Lions will be hosting #3 Notre Dame in Happy Valley this Sunday continuing their brutal early stretch of ranked opponents through the next four weeks, Penn State upset the Fighting Irish last year 4-3 in overtime utilizing a Villanova '85 gameplan of slowing the game down and limiting possessions, but the introduction of a "shot clock" this season has Coach Tambroni going uptempo. Tambroni, formerly coaching a consistent winner at Cornell, was another recent dynamite hire and is building Penn State into a program to be reckoned with, something that should be expected with all the talent in the surrounding states. "The Nittany Lions have the recipe for success. The attack unit is dynamic, the midfield knows their role and Austin Kaut is arguably the best goalie in the nation."
Michigan just recently started a varsity squad a couple years ago and Ohio State is ranked #19/#17, adding Rutgers and especially Maryland will continue to improve the B1G lacrosse, but not enough to create their own conference like hockey, which is why the Johns Hopkins rumors are so interesting, as are potential B1G members like Virginia, North Carolina and Notre Dame.
Bunnies! Rampaging Bunnies! In a comment thread fed after midnight and dowsed in water gone real life, bunnies have been chewing the wires of cars parked at Denver International Airport. Despite removing more than a hundred each month, the problem has not subsided. USAirpot Parking is discussing several solutions, including raptor perches, which seems like a bad idea introducing birds into an airport environment. What could go wrong?
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