And the 19 members, the same ones who helped hand Emmert the authority for the unprecedented sanctions against Penn State University in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal, unanimously patted Emmert on the back in three tone-deaf paragraphs. Under the guise of well-worn phrases about transparency and change, the group comes across as out of touch and desperately clinging to the status quo.
Think the support would be unanimous if one of their universities was under assault?
Think their 235 words make Miami president Donna Shalala feel any better?
Shalala accused the NCAA of orchestrating leaks and passing on obvious interviews that would help Miami’s case, not to mention the lawyer fiasco. Anger sizzles in each word. It’s not difficult to imagine this case eventually joining the long list of those suing the NCAA.
“We trust that the Committee on Infractions will provide the fairness and integrity,” she wrote, “missing during the investigative process.”
Gentlemen, start your lawyers.
This is Emmert’s make-it-up-as-you-go-along NCAA. Process and procedures can be discarded when they aren’t convenient. Accountability is something for those unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of the NCAA’s wrath.
Penn State’s athletics department is excoriated (then hammered) by Emmert for “fundamental culture problems” while his own organization’s culture issues are blamed on the path to change being “bumpy” and “controversial.” Coaches are rebelling against new recruiting rules that will allow them to text, email or instant message recruits as much as they want. All the while, the cash rolls in with $871.6 million in revenue in 2011-12 alone.
Protecting student-athletes, the NCAA’s stated mission, certainly is lucrative.
None of this surprises Ramogi Huma. The former UCLA linebacker runs the National College Players Association that advocates for college athletics reform. This is what he’s preached for years.
“The notion that the NCAA institutes a fair system has gone the way of the belief that the world is flat,” Huma wrote in an email Monday, “and that will have consequences among legislative bodies, the courts, the public and even its member institutions. The NCAA may have ultimately sealed its fate of irrelevance or extinction.”
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