Former Georgia Tech basketball coach Bobby Cremins, a new member of the NCAAs committee on infractions, said last month the NCAA should have been really, really, skeptical about using Nevin Shapiro as a source.
The University of Miami now must hope that other members of the infraction committee feel the same way.
When UM officials present their case before the committee, they will assert that several allegations leveled against UM were not corroborated and that the NCAA is relying, as president Donna Shalala said, on the word of a man who made a fortune by lying. Though a mid-June hearing before the infractions committee is not out of the question, the NCAA said in former UM basketball coach Frank Haiths notice of allegations that a July hearing is likely for UM and the former assistants.
Two UM sources said initial sentiment is the school likely would not appeal limited scholarship reductions but would vehemently fight additional postseason bans in football and any in basketball.
If theres a strong penalty, we would appeal, one of the UM officials said, cautioning that nothing will be decided definitively until the process plays out.
UM likely will not know for many months whether it will receive any additional punishment beyond what it already has self-imposed, including two football bowl bans, 11 player suspensions and a few football scholarships.
Cremins is the only one of the 18 infraction committee members who have spoken publicly about the UM case, and he might not even be assigned to it. Jo Potuto, former head of the infraction committee, said the UM case might only be heard by five or six members of the committee. The NCAA wont say.
Blogger John Infante, a former compliance officer at Colorado State, said if he bet how this would play out, I would say the NCAA is more likely to scrutinize the information from the enforcement staff more than they might in other cases.
I would be shocked if theres another bowl ban, and it would be foolish to impose that. If Miami gets [docked] 10 to 15 scholarships a year, I see Miami fighting back. On the basketball side, its a bunch of minor recruiting violations. I would see minimal scholarship losses maybe one or two and definitely no postseason ban for basketball.
Shalala said the NCAA told UM that if Shapiro said something more than once, it considered the allegation corroborated.
The committee of infractions would be skeptical about taking that position, said Jerry Parkinson, a former infractions committee member. I can understand her strong reaction to that. The lack of institutional control charge is serious, but the penalties self-imposed were substantial, and they will get credit for that.
ESPNs Jay Bilas said by phone Wednesday that one problem is the NCAA has no standard of proof, and the committee on infractions can believe whatever bad evidence it chooses. Thats no way to conduct a system of justice. Its absurd.
So how will the UM case proceed from here? Shalala and others, who reportedly implicated former coaches, will have a Friday conference call with the infractions committee to discuss procedural issues and concerns. Potuto said UM then will produce a written response to the notice of allegations and the assigned infraction committee members will have ample time to digest it before the hearing. Those written responses are due May 20th.