“To ensure that the parties at risk of the investigation suffer no prejudice from the NCAA’s use of the bankruptcy proceeding, the Enforcement and Legal Staffs decided to remove from U. Miami’s Investigative Record any information directly or indirectly derived from the work of Ms. Perez in the bankruptcy proceeding,” the report stated.
Thus, for example, “13 interviews were excluded” from the investigation’s findings; and “portions of 12 interviews were excluded,” the report stated.
Additionally, “some factual allegations were entirely removed,” according to the report, and “if there is ever a Notice of Allegations issued in this matter, that same information would not be the basis for any charges contained therein . . .”
The report said outside counsel “reviewed and analyzed over 75 interview transcripts and voluminous other records, including bank account documents, receipts, photographs and other evidence.”
The report also indicated that “it is clear” that UM attorneys “knew from the beginning the NCAA was using Ms. Perez to secure depositions,” though they didn’t know she was being paid.
“Despite their awareness of the depositions,” the report stated, “the U. Miami attorneys made no effort to prevent the NCAA from taking these depositions,” after UM’s “initial reservations.”
Why? “The attorneys explained they did not want to appear uncooperative or to look like they were standing in the way of the truth.”
Shapiro, now serving a 20-year federal prison sentence for his $930-million Ponzi scheme, has spent countless hours telling the NCAA how he provided more than 100 mostly former UM athletes with several thousand dollars worth of improper benefits from 2002 to 2010.
Shalala expressed her unhappiness about the whole situation.
“The University takes full responsibility for the conduct of its employees and student-athletes,” Shalala’s statement began. “Where the evidence of NCAA violations has been substantiated, we have self-imposed appropriate sanctions, including unilaterally eliminating once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for our students and coaches over the past two years, and disciplining and withholding players from competition . . .
“In September 2010 — two and a half years ago — [UM] advised the NCAA of allegations made by a convicted felon against former players and, at that time, we pledged our full cooperation with any investigation into the matter.”
Shalala said UM pledged to “vigorously pursue the truth, wherever that path may lead” and insisted on “complete, honest, and transparent cooperation with the NCAA from our staff and students.
“[UM] has lived up to those promises, but sadly the NCAA has not lived up to their own core principles.”
Shalala went on to complain about the “flawed investigation” and the NCAA’s “disappointing pattern of unprofessional and unethical behavior,” and how UM has suffered because of it.
“Regardless of where blame lies internally with the NCAA, even one individual, one act, one instance of malfeasance both taints the entire process and breaches the public’s trust,” she said.
Emmert said the NCAA’s misconduct in the Miami case represented “a single situation,” and that the NCAA is “trying to make sure that everything we do is seen as being conducted in a fashion that is consistent with our values. I wouldn’t characterize this as a case of corruption. It was certainly a case where there was some bad judgment and bad decisions made, but it shouldn’t, and we have to make sure it does not over the long run diminish the ability of the NCAA to govern itself.”
Emmert said Lach was replaced by attorney Jonathan Duncan, who will serve on an interim basis.
Asked whether the NCAA had discussed a settlement possibility in the UM case to expedite the situation, Emmert said: “This is going to go forward to the Committee on Infractions, like all of our cases, and the committee has some latitude in the way they handle cases. But it also is a complicated case because there are many other parties of interest here at risk beyond the university. There are other people involved.
“It will be up to the Committee on Infractions to make any of those judgment calls.”