The NCAA attempted to flex its muscle by sending a notice of allegations to the University of Miami, but now Florida State Senator Joe Abruzzo is attempting to flex a little of his own.
According to the Palm Beach New Times, Abruzzo has requested the state’s attorney general, Pam Bondi, investigate the NCAA itself following the actions of college sports’ governing body. NCAA president Mark Emmert admitted to a lack of oversight in his rules enforcement committee, thus drastically tainting any and all results the NCAA should find against Miami.
However, as mentioned, Emmert and the NCAA went forward with the investigation anyways. The notice of allegations came more than two years after the initial reports of illegal donations from booster and convicted Ponzi schemer Nevin Shapiro.
When it finally did arrive, Miami president Donna Shalala responded with a scathing critique of the entire notice. Her statement included the fact that Emmert’s goons failed to interview the former athletic director, a man one might suppose to be the very first spoken to, and several other well-founded complaints.
The issue then became, of course, if the NCAA was investigating Miami and screwed it all up, then who was supposed to investigate the NCAA?
Thus Abruzzo’s actions on Thursday. The Democrat wants to protect what is in the best interests of his constituency. In terms of economics (a full stadium’s worth of ticket sales and concessions, for example) and the prestige of the internationally recognized university, that interest is in the protection of Miami.
This is an excerpt of the letter he sent to Bondi. He also included US Attorney General Eric Holder:
Among other acts of wrongdoing, the NCAA was so desperate to gather evidence against the University of Miami that it made improper payments to a convicted con artist and his lawyer for information that it was not allowed to obtain. The NCAA, which does not have subpoena power, paid thousands of dollars to the con artist’s lawyer to gain subpoenaed witness testimony in a bankruptcy case, so that the forbidden information could be used in its investigation. Not only does this abuse the bankruptcy process, but it clearly circumvented the limits of the NCAA’s authority. All of these improper activities occurred in South Florida, within the jurisdiction of your economic crimes division.