Fraud of the Week

As you may have heard, over the weekend the NCAA admitted to mistakes made over the past couple of years while investigating the University of Miami Athletics Department.  On Monday morning, a report was released to the public detailing an external probe of how the investigation into Miami was conducted.  In this report, the NCAA cited “missteps” and “insufficient oversight” during its investigation.  The result saw NCAA VP of Enforcement, Julie Roe Lach fired.  Her superior, NCAA President Mark Emmert explained, “Obviously, this is an outcome that nobody wants to see on their watch or anyone else’s.”  This is something that’s an embarrassment to the association and our staff.”  What Emmert neglected to mention was that, obviously, this wasn’t his fault!  Furthermore, while he fired the VP, he did not fire or even discipline the Director of Enforcement Tom Hosty, very strange.  Mark Emmert, you sir are a FRAUD.

The report, originally released through Yahoo! Sports, noted “a very severe issue of improper conduct.”  Mainly, this was that Maria Elena Perez, an attorney for a Miami Booster and convicted Ponzi scheme architect Nevin Shapiro was used improperly to obtain information the NCAA sought to use against Miami.  The NCAA does not have subpoena power, so according to the report, Perez offered her help in the form of, “using bankruptcy subpoenas to compel depositions from witnesses who had refused to cooperate [with the NCAA].”  The NCAA then gave Perez 34 questions to explore, yet none of these were in any way related to bankruptcy cases.  Essentially, the NCAA used these bankruptcy subpoenas, provided by Perez, to coerce witnesses to cooperate with their investigation.  I’m no lawyer, but it sounds an awful lot like extortion to me.

Julie Roe Lach, just the latest of scapegoats for Emmert

Julie Roe Lach, just the latest of scapegoats for Emmert

When alerted of this plan, the NCAA’s legal department urged the investigators and enforcement team not to proceed and cut ties with Perez.  Obviously, those pleas were ignored; as a result an estimated 20% of the case against Miami has had to be tossed because of illegally obtained depositions.  Not surprisingly, Emmert and the NCAA have stated that despite the missteps, clearly not condoned by him but rather his underling, the investigation into the school would move forward. 

Among the information released by the NCAA on Monday, included the fact that Perez billed the NCAA for $57,115 worth of work performed between October 2011 and July 2012.  Records also show that Perez was paid $19,609 and an email from an investigator to Perez clearly indicates an order to depose people who the NCAA felt, “would not interview with us again.”  Not only that, but the probe found that the NCAA purchased a prepaid cell phone and paid for Nevin Shapiro’s prison phone calls.  That’s right, the NCAA; who bans young men and women for taking coupons from local ice cream stores, paid for a Ponzi Scheme mastermind to make phone calls from prison.  $8,200 worth, “to fund communications with Mr. Shapiro, including transfers of about $4,500 to his prison commissary account.”

Are you fucking serious?  It was bad enough when everyone and their mother knew that the NCAA was basically a legal racket and condoned organized crime; now they’re shelling out $4,500 bucks to a convicted felon in prison, just so they can try and bust the University of Miami?

This is some terrible shit, but sadly, if you’re surprised by this you haven’t been paying attention.  This SOP for the NCAA.  For decades they’ve ruled over college athletics like despots making millions of dollars at the expense of college athletes, and god forbid one of them dare cross the all-powerful NCAA, they’ll take your scholarship and kick you to the curb, exiling you from their kingdom.

Emmert runs college athletics like a feudal lord demanding tribute

Emmert runs college athletics like a feudal lord demanding tribute

At the heart of this disgrace is Mark Emmert.  In the wake of the Penn State scandal, the NCAA mandated that Head Coaches in college athletics will be held responsible for the actions of their assistants.  Essentially, you’re the boss and if it happens on your watch then you’re as culpable as the offending party.  I guess this doesn’t apply to the NCAA, because this happened on Emmert’s watch yet his underlings were the ones that paid the price.  And you’d have be pretty fucking naïve to believe that Emmert wasn’t fully aware of what was happening during the investigation and that he didn’t sign off on every phone call paid for and every hour charged by Maria Perez. 

Everyone, myself included, avowed that Joe Paterno knew what was going on at Penn State and acted as he did because he wanted to protect his baby, the Nittany Lions football program.  That’s why Paterno paid the price with his job…yet Emmert is not held to the same standard?

Not held to his own rules, Emmert continues to rule

Not held to his own rules, Emmert continues to rule

Under Mark Emmert, the NCAA has botched several investigations, fired investigators, saw enforcement administrators resign, and reached outside its own rulebook to punish Penn State without due process.  All of this has gone on while Emmert sits and collects his paychecks, and essentially pleas ignorance of the mistakes and illegal actions of his employees.  Bullshit.  Every single time the NCAA fucks something up, Emmert simply passes the buck.  “It wasn’t my fault, it’s the Vice President’s fault, but she’s gone now so it’s all good!”

The NCAA said that head coaches can no longer use the excuse, “I didn’t know;” but apparently Emmert can.  Mark Emmert sits in his office in Indianapolis like an emperor in his palace.  When the populace rises up against him, he just executes a few nobles to put everybody back in their place.  A temporary Band-Aid that continues to get ripped off time and time again as the NCAA consistently botches investigations and disciplinary actions.  Through it all Emmert has remained. 

Someone needs to treat Emmert like a Don, and take him down

Someone needs to treat Emmert like a Don, and take him down

“The intention is to move forward with this case.  There’s still a lot of information that’s available that has in no way been tainted by this incident.”  I’ve got news for you Mr. Emmert, every word you say is tainted.  I don’t know who will be promoted or hired to fill these newly vacant positions within the NCAA hierarchy, but if it was me I’d wear a wire in every meeting and tap every phone conversation.  I’d save every email, instant message, voice mail, and letter.   I’d be determined to bring this Don down before he throws me under the bus. 

For years now the NCAA’s reputation has taken hit after hit after hit.  The public view it as the embodiment of greed, taking millions at the expense of its most important assets while allowing them nothing.  Modern day feudal society, and it’s all gone down at the behest of Mark Emmert.  It’s time to get this fraud out of college athletics once and for all.

Information obtained from Yahoo! Sports and ESPN.COM was used in this post.