The NCAA cannot get former Miami players to cooperate in the Nevin Shapiro investigation. The NCAA’s solution? Bully them into submission. Former Miami players have until Friday to contact the NCAA, otherwise the governing body will just assume they are guilty.
Here’s an excerpt from a letter the NCAA sent to a former player’s agent.
“Interviewing your clients is important in order for the enforcement staff to conduct a thorough investigation, and both the staff and the institution request you and your clients’ cooperation in this matter. However, at this time, all attempts to schedule and execute interviews with [blank] have been unsuccessful. As a result, this letter serves as a formal and final request by the NCAA enforcement staff for interviews with [blank] to be completed by Nov. 23, 2012.
“If we do not hear back from you or your clients by that time, the staff will consider the non-response as your client’s admission of involvement in NCAA violations. You may contact me at [blank] in order to arrange this interview. Your assistance in this matter is appreciated.”
The NCAA is continuing a disturbing precedent set by Mark Emmert during the Penn State scandal. The NCAA wants to be more responsive and effective at enforcement. It is doing so by assuming powers outside its purview, specifically issuing bullying ultimatums. With Penn State, the NCAA bullied the university into accepting sanctions without due process to avoid a death penalty. With the Miami case, the NCAA is now using extortion to get around the inconvenient situation that it is not a legal body with subpoena power. What was either school going to do? Pull their sports out of the NCAA?
Emmert and Co. want to make another “statement” about propriety in college athletics to improve its image, by dropping the hammer on Miami. Lavish dinners, de facto bribes and strip club visits, after all, are treats only be enjoyed by college administrators at bowl functions. Miami fans, the few that exist, may want to brace for impact. Look forward to them taking their private jets down to Miami to really drive that point home.
This spells out the depth of the desperation. The NCAA is willing to act based solely on the word of a convicted felon, one (a) convicted for grand-scale lying and deception and (b) with an avowed axe to grind against the Miami program. That’s a source to trust in the face of no conflicting evidence? The better question: can the NCAA afford the blow from spending this much time and effort, having that much information in the public domain and not acting?
We’re witnessing the last chapters of the flailing, shamateur regime. Perhaps college and conference administrators, in the down time between signing billion-dollar television deals, could reform the rulebook to address the sport it is actually intended to govern.
[Photo via Presswire]