January 23rd, 2013 02:16 PM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
Tags: Alabama, Miami, NCAA, Nevin Shapiro
Let’s get one thing straight right out of the gate — in college athletics, the NCAA serves as police department, prosecuting attorney, judge, jury, and appellate court. So when the NCAA messes up its own investigation into a school or coaches, well, it’s up to the NCAA to decide just how badly it messed up.
Having said that, the NCAA called a press conference today to admit that it had screwed up its investigation into the University of Miami athletic department and all those many coaches now employed elsewhere (meaning: Missouri’s Frank Haith and Alabama’s Jeff Stoutland and Joe Pannunzio). According to a press release put out by the NCAA:
“Former NCAA enforcement staff members worked with the criminal defense attorney for Nevin Shapiro to improperly obtain information for the purposes of the NCAA investigation through a bankruptcy proceeding that did not involve the NCAA.
As it does not have subpoena power, the NCAA does not have the authority to compel testimony through procedures outside of its enforcement program. Through bankruptcy proceeding, enforcement staff gained information for the investigation that would not have been accessible otherwise…
As it relates to the Miami investigation, the NCAA will not move forward with a Notice of Allegations until all the facts surrounding this issue are known.”
NCAA president Mark Emmert added: “I have been vocal in the past regarding the need for integrity by NCAA member schools, athletics administrators, coaches, and student-athletes. That same commitment to integrity applies to all of us in the NCAA national office… To say the least, I am angered and saddened by this situation. Trust and credibility are essential to our regulatory tasks. My intent is to ensure our investigatory functions operate with integrity and are fair and consistent with out member schools, athletics staff and most importantly our student-athletes.”
The takeaway? Everyone involved in the Miami mess might just walk thanks to a technicality.
Think of our favorite police procedural on television. Cop X goes into a house looking for someone/something and finds evidence of a murder. But Cop X didn’t have a proper warrant. So the evidence discovered can’t be used in court. And the murderer walks.
This isn’t television and none of the Miami coaches (current or former) have been accused of killing anyone, but the gist is the same. Some NCAA investigators apparently overstepped their bounds while evidence-gathering and now they’ve compromised the NCAA’s case against Miami, Haith, Stoutland, Pannunzio or any other ex-Hurricane coach who stood to receive a notice of allegations.
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