â†µThat's bad enough, but now, thanks to Florida State's futile appeal against the NCAA's decision to vacate a couple dozen of Bobby Bowden's wins in the wake of their mondo academic scandal, there's evidence that the NCAA has taken the secrecy gig a step farther yet: â†µâ†µ
â†µâ‡¥[T]he NCAA also has turned to using a secure Web site to share information with universities about rules violations. To view the information, the NCAA requires schools to sign confidentiality agreements.
â†µâ‡¥The contents of that Web site, the NCAA says, are exempt from any state's public-records laws because the documents belong to the organization based in Indianapolis and not to the public universities that are subject to public disclosure. â†µ
â†µThat's a neat trick, isn't it? â†µâ†µ
â†µThe article goes on to do the usual article thing, where advocates for both sides are quoted without any direct evaluation of their claims -- I guess that's left to blogs. So let's evaluate the one plausible reason offered for doing this other than "because we can": â†µâ†µ
â†µâ‡¥"The development of a case depends almost completely on the containment of the information," said Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe, a former NCAA investigator. "Once you start having that information leak out, all of a sudden people could know what kind of stories to tell to avoid being found out. And as soon as you give information out, you dry up your sources." â†µâ†µ
â†µExcept the big reveal here comes well after the conclusion of the Florida State investigation, which has been 100% put to bed save for FSU's meritless, rejected appeal. "Containment" is no longer a valid reason to refuse to release the information. Nor did the NCAA choose to release the document with any information that might point the finger at a whistleblower excised -- another reason offered -- they just said "no." â†µâ†µ
â†µMyles Brand's already gotten dragged in front of Congress and asked to justify the NCAA's increasingly tenuous claim to tax-exempt status; maybe it's time to have that dog-and-pony show one more time. â†µâ†µ
This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.