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.

Duke, Cincinnati lead Hall of Fame Tip-Off

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski gestures during the first half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Florida State in Durham, N.C., Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Ben McKeown)
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) Duke and Cincinnati, 2016 NCAA Tournament teams, highlight the eight-team field for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament.

The participants for the Nov. 19-20 event were announced Wednesday.

Also in the field are Rhode Island, Penn State, Grand Canyon, Albany, Marist and Brown.

The teams, split into two four-team brackets, will play two doubleheaders at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Duke, Cincinnati, Penn State and Rhode Island will meet in the Naismith Bracket, while the others will play in the Springfield Bracket.

The teams will play two early round games at campus sites from Nov. 11 through Nov. 16.

Brandone Francis-Ramirez transferring out of Florida

Florida State center Jean Marc Christ Koumadje (21) fouls Florida guard Brandone Francis-Ramirez (2) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015, in Gainesville, Fla. (Matt Stamey, The Gainesville Sun via AP)
(Matt Stamey, The Gainesville Sun via AP)
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Brandone Francis-Ramirez is transferring out of the Florida program, the school announced on Wednesday.

A former top 40 recruit, Francis-Ramirez had his two seasons in Gainesville ruined by an academic issues and a loss of confidence. He was academically ineligible in 2014-15, practicing with the team during the second semester. He was granted a redshirt for the year, but he struggled to find any kind of a rhythm this past season. There was a two-month stretch in the middle of the year where he shot 6-for-58 from the floor and 2-for-31 from three.

On the season, he shot 20.2 percent from the floor and 16.9 percent from three.

“I want it to work out for him,” Gators coach Mike White said in a release. “We really appreciate what Brandone did here and wish him the best.”

One of Villanova’s title game stars undergoes knee surgery

Phil Booth, Jack McVeigh
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The forgotten star of the national title game underwent an arthroscopic on his left knee on Wednesday.

Phil Booth, who scored a season-high 20 points in the 2016 National Title game, will be a junior next season and one of the guys called upon to help replace Ryan Arcidiacono, who graduated. He should be ready to go by the middle of the summer; according to a statement put out by the program, Booth will need 6-to-8 weeks to heal.

“Phil is as mentally tough a young man as we have had at Villanova,” head coach Jay Wright said in the release. “He continually impresses our coaching staff with his outstanding attitude. Phil will attack this recovery challenge with great determination, as he does everything in life.”

Booth averaged 7.0 points and 2.2 assists this past season.

Jennings becomes seventh player to transfer from Kentucky

Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell watches his team during the team's regional semifinal in the NCAA women's college basketball tournament against Washington in Lexington, Ky., Friday, March 25, 2016. Washington won 85-72. (AP Photo/James Crisp)
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell has announced that sophomore forward Alexis Jennings will transfer, the seventh Wildcat to leave the program since last fall.

Jennings’ departure comes a week after Mitchell publicly addressed the mass exodus of players and assistant coaches and stressed the need for building stability. Jennings figured to be part of that process and the coach said in a release Wednesday night that “it saddens us that Alexis did not see a path for her at Kentucky. … She felt it was in her best interest to finish her career elsewhere and we owe her that opportunity.”

The 6-foot-2 Jennings started 18 of 33 games last season and averaged 10 points and 7.1 rebounds.

DePaul adds 2018 commit

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Wisconsin guard John Diener has committed to DePaul, his grassroots program announced Wednesday night.

The 6-foot-4 Class of 2018 guard ends his recruitment rather early with offers also from instate schools Green Bay and Milwaukee. He’s known as a shooter and becomes the first commit for Dave Leitao in the 2018 class.

Diener, who plays with the Wisconsin Playground Warriors in the spring and summer, commits to the Blue Demons with them coming off a disappointing campaign, Leitao’s first in Chicago. DePaul went 9-22 overall and 3-15 in the Big East, finishing only ahead of St. John’s.

DePaul has been recruiting the Midwest hard with incoming 2016 recruits from La Lumiere School in Indiana, Sagninow, Mich. and locally in Chicago.