I spoke with NCAA president Mark Emmert this week for an upcoming story, but at the end of the interview I touched on the Oregon and Miami investigations.
Mainly, what's taking so long? It's been reported in several spots that the average NCAA investigation takes 11 to 12 months, yet Yahoo! Sports' first reports of Oregon's dealings with Willie Lyles surfaced in March 2011 (21 months ago). Booster/ponzi schemer Nevin Shapiro's illicit benefits to a slew of Miami players were unveiled in August 2011 (16 months ago), also by Yahoo!.
Now, Oregon must answer questions from the NCAA's committee on infractions after attempts to seek a summary disposition failed. The Miami case has resorted to the NCAA giving ultimatums to former players, according to the Miami Herald. Talk, or you'll be implicated.
Emmert declined comment on specifics of the cases, but he addressed the time lines as they pertain to usual standards.
"On average across investigations, we've been dropping pretty significantly," Emmert said. "We're pressed with that progress. When you look at any case, it's going to involve a lot of people that are no longer with that institution. It's just a lot harder to get all of the facts and takes a lot of time and energy. None of these things move as fast as you'd like.”
At least part of that answer could apply to Miami's case because of all the former players allegedly involved in Shapiro's dealings.
When asked about the "ultimatum story" and the appearance of a bullying tactic from the NCAA's investigative team, Emmert said he's aware of that report but is not in a position to comment.
With these two cases, it's still unclear how far the finish line is.
For more info on Oregon's case, here's a blog from Yahoo! investigative reporter Charles Robinson.