I feel like I’ve complained about how shitty the NCAA is before (apparently I haven’t hit on how much I hate the punishment of scholarship reductions, so let me say it now: it’s bullshit that an organization that is supposedly there to protect student athletes is taking away their opportunity [yes, players can get offers from other schools, but then those schools don’t have enough scholarships to offer to other kids, somewhere down the road, somebody is getting left out] to be either). The way it circumvented its own bylaws in punishing Penn State was stupid. The “nothing to see here” approach to North Carolina’s academic scandal was pathetic. But I think this might just take the cake. Per the below letter (I changed the “[blank]”’s to [redacted], because that makes me laugh), former Miami players have been given an ultimatum by the new age, badass NCAA.
“The purpose of this letter is to apprise you that the NCAA enforcement staff is requesting to schedule an interview with your clients regarding their knowledge of or involvement in possible NCAA violations concerning the University of Miami, Florida, football program.
“Interviewing your clients is important in order for the enforcement staff to conduct a thorough investigation, and both the staff and the institution request you and your clients’ cooperation in this matter. However, at this time, all attempts to schedule and execute interviews with [redacted] have been unsuccessful. As a result, this letter serves as a formal and final request by the NCAA enforcement staff for interviews with [redacted] to be completed by Nov. 23, 2012.
“If we do not hear back from you or your clients by that time, the staff will consider the non-response as your client’s admission of involvement in NCAA violations. You may contact me at [redacted] in order to arrange this interview. Your assistance in this matter is appreciated.”
Assistant Director of Enforcement
To recap: Miami will be found guilty of NCAA violations for any of the 114 players indicted by Nevin Shapiro who don’t speak with the NCAA. The NCAA has exactly zero jurisdiction over any of those individuals who are not current Hurricane players. Those guys have exactly zero to gain by meeting with the NCAA and zero to lose by blowing them off. But if former players do blow off the NCAA, they will drop the hammer on current players, based on the un-collaborated testimony of a man convicted on felony counts stemming from LYING. So if one guy, say, doesn’t like the new coaching staff, he could refuse to waste his time and punish his alma mater at the same time, no skin off his back at all.
Is it likely that Miami is guilty of NCAA infractions? Abso-friggin-lutely. Is it now acceptable for the NCAA to just drop the hammer based on likelihoods, without the burden for proof? I don’t think so. Would anybody really be okay with crippling sanctions hitting The U based solely on the testimony of a guy who, again, IS IN JAIL BECAUSE HE LIED TO PEOPLE? Apparently Frank Schwab would (the guy who wrote the above linked article), because you obviously only need privacy if you have something to hide (dumbass).
This sucks too:
The NHL and NHLPA. The players made a new offer, yawn.
ESPN. Honestly, I used to love the WWL, but I gave it up for anything outside of live sports about a year ago, and I can’t say that I miss it. Stories like this only help to confirm that. In a couple years we will look back and see that Skip Bayless was to ESPN what Kevin Nash was to the WCW. He is undeniably a great talent, but it’s a niche talent. Building the entire brand around him and his vision will eventually prove to be the downfall. Oh, and that bit about Lynn Hoppes plagiarizing from Wikipedia? I just figured he was an athlete at North Carolina. This should be a great opportunity for NBC Sports to gain viewers who actually care about sports, not just Tebow-mania and Lebron (too bad for them they hitched their wagon to the most dysfunctional professional sports league in the world).
Rick Reilly. I know this kind of fits into the ESPN piece, but the God-awful stench of Reilly’s suck deserved its own space. I used to love Reilly. Hell, I had an SI subscription for years just to read “This week’s sign of the apocalypse” and his back page article. Now he’s citing satire and begging for credit for seeing Ben Roethlisberger leave the stadium. I haven’t seen a person’s career free fall this much since Felix Baumgartner (that’s a joke the old Rick would have made).
Penn State fans complaining about conference expansion. You guys realize we became a B1G school for the same reason (money) as Nebraska, Maryland, and Rutgers, right? When the Big Ten Network is on basic cable in New York, Philly, Baltimore, and DC (not because these cities care about Rutgers or Maryland, but because Rutgers and Maryland add to the leverage of Fox News Corp. [majority owner of YES]), millions will be paid to the Conference and it’s member schools by cable subscriptions of people who will never actually watch a B1G broadcast. From a sports and tradition perspective it sucks, but it sucked in 1993, too. Ask any of the actual “ten”.
Abigail Grantstein’s boyfriend. You’ve probably never heard of Abigail Grantstein. She was the lead NCAA investigator for the Shabazz Muhammad eligibility case. She told her boyfriend about it. He ran his mouth on an airplane. Now Muhammad is eligible, thanks in no small part to the burden of proving that the NCAA didn’t make a prejudgment. Ms. Grantstein should have explained to her boyfriend that he had something to hide, maybe then he would have respected the privacy of the case. Get off my lawn.