by Jesse Finver
The National Collegiate Athletics Association has recently come under fire for its investigative tactics in a University of Miami case regarding official rule violations, and rightfully so.
In 2011, the NCAA opened an investigation on the Miami Hurricanes’ football and men's basketball programs for rules violations allegedly having taken place from 2002 to 2010, and centering around improper benefits given by former booster Miami Nevin Shapiro.
Shapiro brought this to the attention of the NCAA in the first place, claiming in 2011 that players received benefits including cars, money, vacations and much more. Prior to the investigation, Shapiro was also convicted of heading a ponzi scheme of over $900 million.
On Feb. 17, the NCAA released an internal report on its enforcement staff, stating that key aspects of the investigation were obtained unethically.
In the report, the NCAA admitted to obtaining information through Shapiro’s bankruptcy lawyer in court by asking witnesses questions that were not about the bankruptcy case but rather about the NCAA’s investigation into the University of Miami.
Yes, this is the man that the NCAA was getting their information from, a convicted felon. Based on these findings, the University of Miami should be off the hook from any NCAA sanctions, right? Wrong. In fact, the NCAA acted like this was completely normal, and furthermore, two days after the NCAA released its incriminating report on itself, it issued Miami a notice of allegations, citing a “lack of institutional control.”
This can bring about serious sanctions, according to sbnation.com, including “postseason bans, scholarship reductions, show-cause penalties and vacation of wins,” all of which Miami can expect if they do not win their appeal.
However, before the NCAA sent this notice, the Hurricanes had already punished themselves with self-imposed sanctions. This included giving up two bowl games and what would have been their first ACC championship appearance since joining the ACC, reducing their official recruiting visits, reducing their contacts and evaluation days in the fall and reducing the number of scholarships that they can offer.
Miami was being responsible by punishing itself, but it is apparent that the NCAA doesn’t have that word in its vocabulary. The NCAA is being extremely hypocritical in its actions, and in a case where the judge has been found guilty, somehow, the jury is still out on the fate of the University of Miami.