“Trust and credibility are essential to our regulatory tasks.”
Mark Emmert (NCAA President)
Well Mr. Emmert, that credibility that you claim is so important to your much maligned NCAA is all but shattered. The governing body of college sports is putting the investigation of the Miami Hurricanes, Frank Haith, others, all on hold until it’s done taking a look in the mirror. CBS Sports broke the story that the NCAA is investigating itself because staff members improperly obtained information for the purposes of the investigation through a bankruptcy proceeding.
Apparently, the NCAA doesn’t have jurisdiction to go through court records to obtain information not tied to the NCAA. The NCAA hired Nevin Shapiro’s – the man at the forefront of the NCAA investigation of Miami – attorney to obtain legal documents, which is not really ethical.
Emmert is distraught, as well he should be, that this has been going on under his nose. Here is his statement.
“To say the least, I am angered and saddened by this situation. Trust and credibility are essential to our regulatory tasks. My intent is to ensure our investigatory functions operate with integrity and are fair and consistent with our member schools, athletics staff and, most importantly, our student-athletes.”
When there is public backlash concerning your credibility only stemming from the dislike of how you do business, that’s one thing. When there is proof that the organization you head is doing business with as much ethics as Michael Corelone, then it’s a huge problem.
The immediate impact of this will be felt by the Miami Hurricanes, Missouri Tigers, Frank Haith and some others. The lasting impact could be of much more importance. This is clear proof that the NCAA is not only overstepping its jurisdiction, but doing so egregiously. I mean, you hired the lawyer of the man, who is at the center of your biggest investigation in a decade, to make a case against the people the lawyer represented, accused of breaking NCAA rules.
I can point out countless examples of the NCAA wielding their power in a rather questionable fashion (or just link them: 1, 2 ,3 ,4, 5. And that’s just a few). However, what the NCAA is accusing itself of doing is on the edge of ending the game itself. You can’t, no matter which way you stretch it, have an organization that’s two biggest responsibilities are looking after the wellness of the student-athletes and protecting the credibility amateurism, while having the biggest credibility issues involved.
A major overhaul has been in order for the NCAA for a longtime now, but maybe the time has actually come for universities to succeed from that of which has hampered their growth for so long.
Emmert has stated that an external investigator is going to handle internal investigations. This is something straight out of a bad mystery-crime novel. The corrupt branch that’s supposed to be the symbol of justice, long rumored to be inept and as corrupt as those they prosecute, doing a top-secret investigation of itself using someone from the outside.
Today, tomorrow, this whole week, you’re going to read and listen about the impacts this has on those that were being investigated. You’re going to hear about Tigers head coach Frank Haith maybe getting away with a little something-something, but that isn’t even remotely the most important aspect of the story. It’s the credibility that’s officially been ripped from the NCAA, ironically by their own hands.
Smarter people than I, and we know there’s plenty, will hopefully use this situation as an opportunity to change collegiate sports in a positive way going forward. It’s up to mainstream columnist to keep the ball rolling and not let the NCAA, yet again, slither out of this scandal unscathed. For bloggers, podcast folks, fans, anyone who cares about college sports, to not let the noise surrounding this catastrophe die down.
Not a soul in the nation is going to be on the NCAA’s side on this one. When you boil it down, this isn’t about credibility, it’s about an organization whose objective is to protect student-athletes while being as fair as possible.
They’ve failed, have been for years. The student-athletes have been pushed to the wayside in favor of the NCAA wielding their form of justice as they fit. Innocent kids have been hurt along the way, universities wrongfully punished, and the spirit of what collegiate sports were meant to stand for tarnished forever.
Thanks, NCAA, for the internal investigation.
Joe covers the Catholic Seven for Rant Sports. For the love of Sam Cassell, follow Joe on the Twitter Machine @JosephNardone