Departures from NCAA enforcement staff
by Rachel Axon, USA TODAY Sports
The departures from the NCAA enforcement staff continued with Tuesday’s announcement that Rachel Newman Baker will take a job at Kentucky.
Newman Baker spent 12 years at the NCAA, most recently as the managing director of enforcement for development and investigations. She has been named the senior associate athletics director for compliance and starts her job at Kentucky on July 8, according to a press release from the school.
Newman Baker is at least the seventh person to leave the enforcement division in the past year. Julie Roe Lach, the former vice president of enforcement, was fired earlier this year following the NCAA’s admitted mishandling of the investigation at Miami.
The NCAA commissioned an outside review after it was discovered the association paid nearly $20,000 to the attorney for Nevin Shapiro, the UM booster who gave thousands of impermissible benefits to Hurricanes athletes over an eight-year span. Shapiro is currently serving a 20-year prison sentence for running a $930 million Ponzi scheme.
Against advice of the NCAA’s legal counsel, former investigator Ameen Najjar signed an agreement with Maria Elena Perez, Shapiro’s attorney, to help get testimony of otherwise uncooperative witnesses through the bankruptcy process.
The review found the arrangement was not against NCAA bylaws or the rules of bankruptcy proceedings.
But since its release and the firing of Roe Lach, the department has seen several departures. Dave Didion, who spent 14 years at the association, left in April to go to Auburn. Investigators Marcus Wilson and Chance Miller left for Maryland and South Carolina, respectively.
Newman Baker was previously the director of agent, gambling and amateurism from 2005-11.
“Over the past 12 years at the NCAA, I’m proud of the work we did to promote student-athlete well-being while upholding the integrity of college athletics,” Newman Baker said in the press release. “I’m looking forward to applying my skills and knowledge in my new role … [For more on Departures from NCAA enforcement staff continue, click here.]