Well, it would have been nice to see somebody, but I might as well have been visiting the CIA. The transparency that Emmert promised when he became NCAA president hasn’t materialized.
UM has been just as opaque. Shalala has never revealed what is in the Notice of Allegations, which naturally prompts the question of what UM has to hide at this point, three years down the road.
Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky is chair of the infractions committee, a role once occupied by the late Paul Dee, UM’s former athletic director. Dee presided over the Reggie Bush case, which led to sanctions against the Southern California football program and the stripping of Bush’s Heisman Trophy. Talk to Southern Cal boosters today and they remain bitter over what they consider unduly harsh punishment for the actions of one player and his aspiring agent.
Jim Tressel lost his job at Ohio State and has yet to be rehired because he lied about players’ free tattoos. Butch Davis, the athletic director and the chancellor at North Carolina all lost their jobs as a result of the scandal in Chapel Hill, which has yet to be fully resolved.
These cases never end well, even when self-imposed penalties are applied as mea culpa mitigation. The collateral damage ripples through the years. Just ask Michigan, where all evidence of the Fab Five era was ripped from the rafters.
UM can’t win, given the negative publicity for the school, which revives the dormant taint of past scandals. But it can fight for a fair sentence.
UM can bury the poison spread by Shapiro. The NCAA can, too, although it faces a more arduous cleanup.
It’s time, at long last, to throw away the key.