The NCAA suffered a massive PR blow with the way that they handled their investigation into the Miami’s association with Nevin Shapiro, but, as many predicted, it’s beginning to look like their internal investigation into the alleged improprieties may have glossed over some of the facts.
The biggest problem?
The NCAA essentially hired Nevin Shapiro’s attorney, Maria Elena Perez, to help build their case against Miami. Since she was working on bankruptcy proceedings involving Shapiro, the NCAA fed her questions to ask the interview subjects in order to take advantage of her subpoena power. That’s not OK, and it got one investigator fired.
But the replacement may have done the exact same thing. From the Herald:
Among the new details in the case: Stephanie Hannah, an NCAA director of enforcement who took over the UM case late last May from fired Ameen Najjar, continued Najjar’s policy of working with Shapiro’s attorney, Maria Elena Perez, to try to build a case against UM.
After taking over for Najjar, Hannah attempted to work with Perez on obtaining information from Shapiro’s bodyguard, Mario Sanchez, who was subpoenaed to appear in a bankruptcy hearing. The deposition with Sanchez never materialized, and the bankruptcy trustee told us today that it wouldn’t have been of interest to the bankruptcy trustee, anyway.
That’s not a good look for the NCAA.
UM also will allege that NCAA investigators lied to interview subjects by claiming that other people interviewed made comments they never made, in order to trick the subjects into revealing incriminating information they otherwise might not have, according to multiple officials familiar with the NCAA’s case against UM and former coaches. UM believes such behavior is unethical, and it clearly is.
So here’s my question: How come none of this popped up in the NCAA’s report? The law firm that Mark Emmert hired to run the internal investigation has a very lawyerly response here, if you’re curious.
Also, our buddies over at College Football Talk have a great take on this topic, something we, frankly, aren’t all that concerned about right now considering the fact that, you know, there’s this little thing called the Sweet 16 happening tonight. Maybe you’ve heard of it.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.