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Miami NCAA investigation: University president addresses Notice of Allegations

The University of Miami released their statement in response to the NCAA investigation, and President Donna Shalala denounced every aspect of the situation.

Joel Auerbach

The University of Miami did not mince words in their statement regarding the notice of allegations from the NCAA. President Donna Shalala was quick to go on the offensive and attack every aspect of the Notice of Allegations, which reportedly contains the dreaded "lack of institutional control" allegation.

Shalala didn't beat around the bush when it came to mentioning the most pertinent aspect of the investigation; namely, that the NCAA had already interfered in the case in a questionable manner that is already requiring an internal investigation by the organization.

"Over the two and a half years since the University of Miami first contacted the NCAA enforcement staff about allegations of rules violations, the NCAA interviewed dozens of witnesses, including current and former Miami employees and student-athletes, and received thousands of requested documents and emails from the University. Yet despite our efforts to aid the investigation, the NCAA acknowledged on February 18, 2013 that it violated its own policies and procedures in an attempt to validate the allegations made by a convicted felon. Many of the allegations included in the Notice of Allegations remain unsubstantiated.

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Shalala was quick to denounce Nevin Shapiro as a criminal who could not be trusted at his word. According to the university president, the NCAA could not find evidence of any of the more notable punishments.

Many of the charges brought forth are based on the word of a man who made a fortune by lying. The NCAA enforcement staff acknowledged to the University that if Nevin Shapiro, a convicted con man, said something more than once, it considered the allegation "corroborated"—an argument which is both ludicrous and counter to legal practice.

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Shalala also didn't seem pleased with how the enforcement staff conducted their investigations and conducted themselves throughout the process.

Finally, we believe the NCAA was responsible for damaging leaks of unsubstantiated allegations over the course of the investigation.

Let me be clear again: for any rule violation—substantiated and proven with facts—that the University, its employees, or student-athletes committed, we have been and should be held accountable. We have worked hard to improve our compliance oversight, and we have already self-imposed harsh sanctions.

The University and the NCAA are already drawing the battle lines.