Mark Emmert

Investigator questions Mark Emmert, NCAA’s look into enforcement

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Last week, Mark Emmert, the President of the NCAA, held a teleconference to announce that the NCAA’s investigation into the alleged improper conduct by Miami involving former-booster Nevan Shapiro would be delayed.

The Notice of Allegations that were prepped to be sent out would get delayed and all the focus would turn to a bigger problem that had arisen: allegations of improper conduct by the NCAA during that investigation.

In other words, the NCAA would have to pause their investigation into Miami so that they could investigate themselves improper conduct.

That improper conduct?

The NCAA not only sat in on depositions with witnesses in a bankruptcy case, they fed the Shapiro’s lawyers questions to ask while the witness was under oath. The NCAA doesn’t have subpoena power, which is why they were forced into this method. They also had Shapiro’s lawyer on their payroll.

None of that is a good look for the NCAA.

And things got worse on Thursday, as an anonymous NCAA investigator spoke to the Orlando Sun-Sentinel and basically said they did nothing wrong and that this tactic was commonplace:

NCAA President Mark Emmert called a national news conference last week, saying he was “angry,” that an investigator sat with the lawyer for UM whistle-blower Nevin Shapiro on the depositions of former athletic employees.

This NCAA investigator, who demanded anonymity, raised a different angle to that issue. It broke no law, he said. It didn’t involve a twisted ethical question, he said.

“There are a lot of us wondering just what the purpose of (Emmert’s news conference) was — and why it happened in the first place,” the investigator said.

[…]

When asked if there was an ethical question in an attorney using legal means to depose someone the NCAA otherwise couldn’t, the investigator was certain.

“This was good, investigative work,” he said.

The investigator then listed similar officials the NCAA has worked with through the years to gather evidence against schools or individuals: U.S. Attorney offices, private investigators, former FBI agents and various lawyers.

The investigator would go on to say that there was more than one member of the NCAA sitting in on those depositions, and that Emmert knew about all of those well before he admitted publicly.

Emmert said that the investigation would take 7-10 days to complete, meaning it should be complete quite soon. At this point, the NCAA is going to have to make the findings of that investigation public if they want to save face.

Because this is not the way they want their investigation arm viewed publicly.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Akron reveals special bobble heads for LeBron, high school teammates

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When it comes to discussing some of the game of basketball’s best players, specifically those who went directly from high school to the NBA, a question that’s often asked is where said player would have attended college if forced (by rule) to do so. Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are among those who have been discussed in this manner, and in the case of LeBron he’s got connections to two programs within his home state of Ohio.

LeBron’s connected with the Ohio State program, which is outfitted by the Nike’s LeBron signature line, but there’s another program with an even closer connection. That would be Akron, which is led by head coach Keith Dambrot, and all he did was serve as LeBron’s high school coach at St. Vincent/St. Mary’s HS in Akron during the player’s freshman and sophomore years at the school. Also on those teams were two future Akron Zips in guard Dru Joyce and forward Romeo Travis.

Thursday the school announced that it would be honoring James, Joyce and Travis with bobble head dolls to be given out before Akron’s home games against Buffalo (February 16; Joyce’s bobble head), Bowling Green (February 26; Travis) and Ohio (March 1; James).

All three bobble head dolls are wearing Akron uniforms, which in the case of LeBron allows fans to think back and imagine what could have been. Season ticket holders guaranteed one bobble head per account (on each of the three giveaway days), with the first 750 fans in attendance to receive one as well.

NEW PODCAST: Indiana, Cal, troublesome trends and a weekend preview

California's Jabari Bird celebrates a score against Oregon in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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The gang is back together again for another episode of the NBCSports.com College Basketball Talk Podcast, with Rob Dauster hosting and Raphielle Johnson and Scott Phillips joining him. Today’s episode touched on big wins picked up Thursday night by California and Indiana, discussing the performances of those teams and also touching on their prospects down the line.

Also discussed were the recent performances of Iowa State, Providence and Texas A&M (which are you more worried about?), and some of the top games on this weekend’s schedule headlined by Kansas visiting Oklahoma. And if you’re a fan of seafood, you may take umbrage with some of Rob’s comments at the beginning of the podcast.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast on either iTunes or Stitcher, and there’s also a link to listen to this podcast below. Thanks for listening.