The University of Miami has been under an intense NCAA investigation for nearly two and a half years. Just as the investigation was nearing a head and final reports were to be released, it was uncovered that the NCAA improperly obtained evidence in the case.
NCAA President Mark Emmert immediately halted the probe into Miami’s athletic program and began investigation into the NCAA itself.
On Monday, the NCAA released a report detailing the missteps and lack of oversight on the part of the governing body of collegiate athletics.
This triggered a response from Miami President Donna E. Shalala, who released the following statement Monday afternoon (via miami.edu):
“The University takes full responsibility for the conduct of its employees and student-athletes. Where the evidence of NCAA violations has been substantiated, we have self-imposed appropriate sanctions, including unilaterally eliminating once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for our students and coaches over the past two years, and disciplining and withholding players from competition.
We believe strongly in the principles and values of fairness and due process. However, we have been wronged in this investigation, and we believe that this process must come to a swift resolution, which includes no additional punitive measures beyond those already self-imposed.
In September 2010—two and a half years ago—the University of Miami advised the NCAA of allegations made by a convicted felon against former players and, at that time, we pledged our full cooperation with any investigation into the matter. One year later, in August 2011, when the NCAA’s investigation into alleged rules violations was made public, I pledged we would ‘vigorously pursue the truth, wherever that path may lead’ and insisted upon ‘complete, honest, and transparent cooperation with the NCAA from our staff and students.
The University of Miami has lived up to those promises, but sadly the NCAA has not lived up to their own core principles. The lengthy and already flawed investigation has demonstrated a disappointing pattern of unprofessional and unethical behavior. By the NCAA leadership’s own admission, the University of Miami has suffered from inappropriate practices by NCAA staff. There have also been damaging leaks to the media of unproven charges. Regardless of where blame lies internally with the NCAA, even one individual, one act, one instance of malfeasance both taints the entire process and breaches the public’s trust.
There must be a strong sense of urgency to bring this to closure. Our dedicated staff and coaches, our outstanding student-athletes, and our supporters deserve nothing less.”
Shalala and the rest of the Miami brass are justifiably upset. The NCAA has held a dark cloud over the Canes football program and head coach Al Golden for more than two years.
Miami has payed the dues and now it’s time for the NCAA to allow the program to move on.
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