Mark Emmert

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

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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. ESPN.com 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.

VIDEO: Western Michigan walk-on gets scholarship atop Eiffel Tower

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Western Michigan Athletics
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Yesterday, we brought you a video of South Dakota’s Logan Power, a walk-on heading into his third season in the program, receiving his scholarship while on the team’s trip to Spain.

Today, we have video of Western Michigan walk-on Ryan Wade getting a scholarship … at the top of the Eiffel Tower?

In a really cool moment, Steve Hawkins, WMU’s head coach, asks two players to try and read a piece of paper in French. He then has Wade read the translation of what the players were saying and … well … just watch:

What a cool moment.

If only there was a camera on the French people watching the crazy Americans sing and jump around a thousand feet in the air …

Former Michigan State star Appling charged in new case

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Photo via Wayne County Prosecutor's Office
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DETROIT (AP) Former Michigan State basketball player Keith Appling has been charged with another weapons violation and other crimes.

Appling was arraigned Tuesday in Detroit on charges including carrying a concealed weapon and fleeing and eluding.

Prosecutors say police stopped Appling Sunday for a suspected traffic violation. Investigators say he offered identification but drove off while an officer had his hand in the window.

It’s Appling’s third encounter with Detroit-area police since spring. Gun charges are pending in two separate cases in Dearborn and Detroit. A bond motion on the other cases is scheduled for Wednesday.

Prosecutors say Appling’s attorney will be Otis Culpepper. The Associated Press called Culpepper but didn’t get an answer.

Appling played for Michigan State from 2010-2014 and had two contracts with the Orlando Magic last season.

Kawhi Leonard to be inducted into SDSU Hall of Fame

Kawhi Leonard (Getty Images)
Kawhi Leonard (Getty Images)
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Kawhi Leonard is, and probably always will be, the greatest player to ever come through the San Diego State ranks.

And this week, the Aztecs announced that they will be honoring the all-NBA wing due to his accomplishments in Viejas Arena: Leonard will be enshrined in the SDSU Hall of Fame this October.

Leonard is a terrific story, one that most people probably already know. A former Mr. Basketball in California, Leonard was somewhat under-recruited, winding up at SDSU where he proceeded to post monster numbers for an Aztec team that climbed into the top five in the country his sophomore season. He went pro after just two years with the program, getting picked 15th by the Spurs due to concerns about his ability to adjust to the perimeter full-time.

And we all know how that worked out.

VIDEO: South Dakota walk-on Logan Power get surprised with a scholarship

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Logan Power, a 6-foot-4 redshirt sophomore from Nebraska, landed a scholarship at the end of South Dakota’s trip to Spain.

You can see the video of it above. Power played in 14 games last season, averaging 2.5 points as he played a real role for the Coyotes down the stretch of the season.

Sometimes moments like this can feel like artificial, like a production designed to boost a coach’s Q rating as much as it is to award the player that scholarship. This doesn’t feel like that at all, as head coach Craig Smith barely can even offer a speech about the player as he fights to hold back tears.

It’s a touching moment.

Well done, USD.

Why did Trevon Duval list Seton Hall, St. John’s and not Duke, Kentucky?

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Trevon Duval is the reason that mixtapes were created.

A top five player and the top point guard in the Class of 2017, Duval is 6-foot-3 and super-athletic, boasting the kind of handle that would make Uncle Drew blush. It’s not possible to do any kind of scouting off of a mixtape; judging what a player can and can’t do based off of a highlight package doesn’t happen.

But given what Duval is capable of doing, it makes him the perfect player to have game film cut and edited so that his highlights fit seamlessly within the beat of an instrumental.

That’s why this mixtape is so good.

But unlike a lot of mixtape phenoms, Duval’s game goes beyond the tricks that look good in slow motion.

His ranking isn’t a fluke. He’s far and away the best point guard in 2017, but you wouldn’t know that based on his offer list.

On Monday, “trimmed” his list to ten schools, but he’s not following a typical path for the top point guard in the class. Much has been written in the last six months about how Duke and Kentucky, the two preeminent programs on the recruiting trail, have been targeting second tier point guards in the Class of 2017, the likes of Trae Young and Quade Green and Tremont Waters.

Young and Green and Waters are all terrific players, top 30 recruits with a shot at becoming McDonalds All-Americans, but Duval is in a tier all by himself. He’s the only surefire one-and-done point guard in the class.

And he listed Seton Hall and St. John’s in his final ten.

He didn’t list Duke and Kentucky.

What do Seton Hall, St. John’s and Trevon Duval all have in common?

Under Armour.

Duval plays for We-R-1 on the travel circuit, a program that is sponsored by UA. He played his junior season at API, a high school program in Texas that was sponsored by Under Armour. Emmanuel Mudiay and Terrence Ferguson, the last two elite prospects to forego college to head directly to the professional ranks overseas, both came from API — along with eligibility concerns due to API’s standing with the NCAA — and reportedly signed sponsorship deals with UA. If UA has a reputation at the grassroots level, it’s that they’re as loyal as any of the three major shoe companies. They do everything they can to keep it all in the family.

The best example of this?

Diamond Stone, a product of the Under Armour Association circuit and Wisconsin native that bucked in-state powers Wisconsin and Marquette to play for Maryland, the program that is to UA and Oregon is to Nike.

It doesn’t always work that way — see: Josh Jackson — and of the final 10 schools on Duval’s list, only four are programs sponsored by Under Armour.

But it’s not an accident that Seton Hall and St. John’s made the cut, and it’s not a coincidence that UCLA — who just this summer signed a massive sponsorship deal with the apparel company — is now considered to be the favorite to land Duval.

The idea that shoe companies control where elite prospects go to school is a bit overblown in this day and age. If it wasn’t, Kansas, an adidas school, wouldn’t have landed Andrew Wiggins or Josh Jackson, two of the last four No. 1 players in the country, neither of whom played with an adidas sponsored team before college.

But it does happen.

And when it does, it’s not all that hard to identify.

Trevon Duval (Kelly Kline/Under Armour)
Trevon Duval (Kelly Kline/Under Armour)