Mark Emmert

The NCAA ‘did not violate a specific bylaw’ in their investigation into Miami?


You’re going to read a lot of words about the NCAA’s report on an external investigation into how they handled their own investigation into Miami and the accusations made by former booster and Ponzi-schemer Nevin Shapiro, but there is really only one line that you need to pay attention to:

The external review found that the NCAA enforcement staff “did not violate a specific bylaw or law.”

To recap:

– The NCAA hired Shaprio’s attorney, Maria Elena Perez, and paid her more than $18,000 (for more than $57,000 worth of work) specifically for the ability to sit in on and provide questions for depositions given under oath. The NCAA doesn’t have subpoena power.

– This happened, according to NCAA president Mark Emmert, despite the NCAA’s General Counsel directly telling the enforcement staff — specifically, investigator Ameen Najjar and his direct superiors, Julie Roe Lach and Tom Hosty — multiple times NOT to do to so.

– Najjar and Roe Lach have lost their jobs with the NCAA as a result.

– Richard Johanningmeier, the investigator that was involved with the Todd McNair and USC investigation, spent $8,200 — $4,500 of which went directly into Shapiro’s commissary account in prison — to interview him in prison. He even bought a burner, a disposable cell phone, to get in touch with Shapiro.

– More than 20% of the information gathered during this process has been determined to be tainted and will not be used as the NCAA furthers their case against Miami.

– John Duncan, a Kansas City attorney that has been named the interim Vice President of Enforcement, is currently representing the NCAA in a case against a former coach at the University of Buffalo.

And there wasn’t a single violation of a specific bylaw or law throughout the entire investigation into Miami?!?

How is that possible?

What makes matters worse is that all of this is happening while the NCAA is already dealing with enough turmoil to make Mark Emmert regret ever taking over the role as president of the NCAA. One investigator was fired after her boyfriend spent a plane ride detailing how Shabazz Muhammad was never going to be allowed to play college basketball. A judge used the terms “ill will or hatred” and “reckless disregard for the truth” in regards to the NCAA’s investigation into McNair.

Isn’t this the definition of a lack of institutional control?

The investigative arm of the institution is ignoring the directives provided by the legal arm, instead hiring lawyers to use their subpoena power and paying witnesses for access to their information all while developing quite the reputation for malicious and vindictive investigations.

Failure to monitor, indeed.

That’s precisely why you are going to hear people call for Mark Emmert’s job and for a complete overhaul of the NCAA, and not just the enforcement arm. Is Emmert really this clueless as to what is going on in his organization? Jim Isch, who is more-or-less the second most important person in the NCAA, actually approved the payment that Roe Lach made to Shaprio’s attorney. reported earlier that General Counsel Donald Remy was aware of and approved the payment, as well.

And yet, none of this was actually a violation on any NCAA bylaw.

That’s a problem that may be bigger than the fact that Emmert apparently has no control over anyone that works for him.

I think it may be time to simply scrap it all and start over from scratch.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Sun Belt approves new scheduling format

Sun Belt Conference
Sun Belt Conference
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With an 11-member setup the Sun Belt Conference has played a 20-game conference schedule the last couple of years, which may be seen as a positive when it comes to determining the regular season champion (home-and-home between every team). But for a conference that spans from North Carolina (Appalachian State) to Texas (UT-Arlington, Texas State) travel was far from easy in that setup.

And with Coastal Carolina joining next season, it was clear that the league needed to do something with its scheduling.

Thursday the Sun Belt members approved an 18-game conference schedule, which will begin with the 2016-17 season when the league consists of 12 members. Included in the agreement is the assignment of travel partners (similar to setups in the Pac-12 and Ivy League), and teams playing no more than three consecutive conference games on the road.

Schools will also be guaranteed at least five weekend home games during conference play, and there will be no more weekends in which teams play conference games both home and away (thus cutting down on travel). Obviously with the addition of Coastal Carolina the Sun Belt needed to make some changes in their scheduling, and this week the conference made the moves they needed to make.

Former Wichita State assistant returns as a consultant

Chris Jans, Gregg Marshall
Associated Press
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Prior to a one-year stint as the head coach coach at Bowling Green that came to an end in early April as a result of an incident at a Bowling Green restaurant, Chris Jans was a member of Gregg Marshall’s coaching staff at Wichita State from 2007-14. During those seven seasons Jans was a key figure as the Shockers made the progression to a respected national power.

Jans is back in Wichita, with Paul Suellentrop of the Wichita Eagle reporting Thursday that he’s serving as a consultant to the program. Jans’ consulting agreement runs for 45 days, which the school can renew, and he’ll be paid $10,000 for the work. While Jans isn’t allowed to do any coaching, he can watch practices and provide Marshall and the coaching staff with his observations.

“He will be able to consult with the coaching staff, only on what he observes in practice,” said Darron Boatright, WSU deputy athletics director. “By NCAA rule, a consultant is not allowed to have communication with student-athletes … not about basketball-related activities or performance.”

While Jans (who according to the story has served in a similar role for another school) can’t do any coaching in this role, his return does give Marshall another trusted voice to call upon when needed. Wichita State bid farewell to an assistant coach this spring with Steve Forbes being hired as the head coach at East Tennessee State, with his position being filled by former Sunrise Christian Academy coach Kyle Lindsted.