NCAA ‘failed our membership’ with Miami tactics
by Dan Wolken, USA TODAY Sports
The NCAA announced Monday that its enforcement staff “acted contrary to internal protocols, legal counsel and the membership’s understanding about the limits of its investigative powers” in hiring Nevin Shapiro’s lawyer to obtain information while investigating the University of Miami’s athletics program.
Though no bylaw or law was broken, members of its enforcement staff circumvented the advice of the NCAA’s legal staff not to use the services of Maria Elena Perez to depose witnesses during Shapiro’s bankruptcy proceedings, according to a report released Monday by Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, a law firm that was hired to review the enforcement staff’s conduct in the case.
“With the completion of the external enforcement review, we recognize that certain investigative tactics used in portions of the University of Miami case failed our membership,” said NCAA President Mark Emmert in a news release.
The NCAA said its case against Miami will proceed, though information obtained improperly will not be used. The Associated Press reported that the University of Miami had no immediate comment.
Yahoo! Sports reported earlier Monday that the NCAA fired its head of enforcement, Julie Roe Lach. Emmert has appointed Jonathan Duncan as interim vice president of enforcement. That group will also review the entire philosophical underpinning of the NCAA’s enforcement program, the NCAA said, “about the nature of the regulatory side, including the desired outcome of regulation and to what level the membership wants to be held accountable.”
The review was prompted by questions of the enforcement staff’s handling of the case against the University of Miami, where Shapiro said he provided benefits to as many as 72 Hurricanes athletes over an eight-year period. At issue was the relationship of the NCAA to Shapiro’s attorney. The NCAA gained information for its investigation of Miami through depositions conducted by Shapiro’s attorney during Shapiro’s bankruptcy trial.
Emmert has said that the relationship was improper, but on Feb. 5, USA TODAY Sports reported that senior NCAA officials had approved of covering as much as $25,000 of the attorney’s expenses related to the depositions, according to a … [For more on Emmert: NCAA 'failed our membership' with Miami tactics, click here.]