The NCAA case involving the University of Miami will continue — but without about 20 percent of the information the governing body of college athletics has deemed tainted because of its own “improper conduct” during the investigation, according to NCAA President Mark Emmert on Monday.
In response, UM President Donna Shalala indicated Monday evening she is fed up with the drama, and implored the NCAA in a lengthy statement to “bring this to a closure.”
Said Shalala: “We believe strongly in the principles and values of fairness and due process. However, we have been wronged in this investigation, and we believe that this process must come to a swift resolution, which includes no additional punitive measures beyond those already self-imposed.”
Among the findings revealed in the 52-page report:
• The NCAA paid $18,000 of a requested $57,115 to the lawyer of former UM booster Nevin Shapiro.
• The NCAA paid $8,200 to fund communications with Shapiro from jail, including the transfer of $4,500 to the prison commissary account from which Shapiro pays for the communications.
Despite Shalala’s objections, expect the Notice of Allegations in the nearly 2-year-old case to arrive soon at UM and to any involved individuals. Judging by the national teleconference Monday led by Emmert and outside counsel Kenneth L. Wainstein, it appears there will be no swift settlement between UM and the NCAA.
“The intention is to move forward with this case,” Emmert said. “There is still a lot of information that is available that has in no way been tainted by this incident. In terms of timing, I’m not going to guess when that occurs. I know everyone is trying to get it done as quickly as possible.”
Added Emmert of the expected Notice of Allegations: “They’re moving forward with dispatch.”
For UM, that’s the crux of the matter that was revealed during the teleconference that released the results of the NCAA inquiry — announced Jan. 23 — into its own misconduct, namely using Shapiro’s attorney, Maria Elena Perez, and paying her to improperly obtain information during two bankruptcy-related depositions. The NCAA does not have subpoena power.
The NCAA initiated the investigation of itself — conducted by Wainstein, a former FBI general counsel and former assistant attorney general for national security — for the “very severe issue of improper conduct” that it discovered last month.
The report indicated that Perez sent the NCAA nine invoices requesting payment for the billable time that she spent on the investigation between Oct. 11, 2011, and July 31, 2012. “The invoices, reflecting an hourly rate of $350” for her legal work, according to the report, “requested a total payment of approximately $57,115.”
The NCAA’s enforcement and legal staffs, however, “jointly agreed to pay a final amount of approximately $18,000.”
Though the external review found that “select enforcement staff members did not violate a specific bylaw or law,” the NCAA fired its vice president of enforcement, Julie Roe Lach, as the result of the inquiry into its own wrongdoings, Yahoo! Sports reported earlier Monday.