Tag:NCAA investigation
Posted on: July 19, 2011 5:21 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2011 5:49 pm
 

Georgia Tech's Johnson blasts NCAA decision

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson has long had a reputation for saying exactly what's on his mind--no more, no less.

And the reason he has that reputation is interviews like the one published today by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, in which Johnson flat-out unloads on the NCAA decision to vacate the Yellow Jackets' 2009 ACC championship. A few choice comments:
“The NCAA can’t take away the memories or what happened on the field. Let’s say somebody took something illegal. I’m still not convinced that happened, but let’s say it did. Well, you’re punishing 115 guys who didn’t do anything but work their butt off" ...

"If we were trying to cover the thing up, we would’ve just said that [athletic director] Dan [Radakovich] never told me anything. Their perception of what happened and my perception of what happened wasn’t close.”

Johnson’s perception: “That they came in here and talked to seven or eight kids and they didn’t find what they were looking for.

“I’ve been in this business a long time. You see all the things that are going on in college sports today, and you get slammed for this? I mean, come on now ...

“If you went out and you did something to gain a competitive advantage, if  you knew you cheated or you paid somebody, it might be easier to swallow,” Johnson said. “But when you don’t feel like you’ve done anything wrong, it’s tough to take.”

We don't blame Johnson at all for being upset. Having the ACC title stripped -- the AJC reports the championship trophy has been moved to a closet -- and four years' worth of probation hanging over the program is a tough blow for a coach who by the NCAA's own admission did nothing wrong.

But if there's anything the NCAA has been consistent about in handing down its recent rulings, it's that (say it with me) the cover-up is worse than the crime. Tech officials prepping athletes Demaryius Thomas and Morgan Burnett for interviews with NCAA investigators after being specifically told not to isn't the worst offense in the world, but there's not much question it does fall underneath the "cover-up" umbrella.

And as for "competitive advantage," Tech was cautioned that star receiver Thomas had "eligiblity questions" and played him against Clemson in the ACC title game anyway. No, it's not "paying somebody" (to use Johnson's term), but if using a player you know could be ineligible -- and was later proven to be -- isn't a "competitive advantage," then what is?

So we sympathize with Johnson's plight, and appreciate his candor. But we can't quite bring ourselves to agree with him that the NCAA overstepped its bounds, either.


Posted on: July 14, 2011 9:42 am
Edited on: July 22, 2011 4:22 pm
 

Austin backs Tar Heel teammate on Twitter

Posted by Chip Patterson

On Wednesday, former North Carolina defensive end Michael McAdoo was in Durham County Courts petitioning for reinstatement after being ruled permanently ineligible and having his appeal denied by the NCAA. When Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson denied McAdoo's petition, the 6-foot-7, 245-pound lineman saw his chances of seeing the field as a Tar Heel once again fade away.

The result obviously disappointed McAdoo and his family, but the ruling enraged former teammate Marvin Austin, who took to Twitter to vent his frustration.

(Tweets in chronological order, presented as they appear)
I'm so heated right now..justice will prevail..even if I have to spill the beans

This is so frustrating right now..I can't rap my head around it..I wish I could understand but maybe its not logical enough to understand

Twitter I'm not bitter I just don't like the way my friend, teammate, brother was mislead, misused, and ostracized from the program for the

Same reasons that others got suspended and are able to play for because I know exactly the details in each case and its noway that this young

Man should have his dram snatched from him like the #ncaa has done. I can tell you so many stories that would be mind boggling in comparison

I swear it is simply disheartning that the people our parents put there trust in to protect us really only care there gain solely

Trust me I know…I love my school..I chose to come here when nobody thought it was smart to do..but I just wish the administration stood

And stop the cowardly acts when the are in front of the ncaa and just tell them what you told us…don't turn and twist your story to look

Appealing to the Ncaa and pressure the 21 year old athlete to say and do things that aren't in there best interest…its so much that's not

Said it stings when I think about it Unc true fans understand how we as players love this place it tatted in blood for most guys on the team.

Of all of the players involved in the North Carolina investigation, Austin might have the loudest voice of them all. Not only because he has the largest personality (remember he wants to be a sportscaster one day), but because he has been the highest-profile player involved with the largest dollar signs attached to his improper benefits.

It was also interesting that Austin took this rant to Twitter. After all, wasn't it his account that kick-started things in the first place? When North Carolina began to gather information internally, a decision was made at some point that trying to fight for Austin's eligibility was a lost cause.

Declared permanently ineligible, and now a second-round draft pick of the New York Giants, Austin has a story that certainly would interest the college football world. As the "most guilty" of North Carolina's suspended players, he could cause quite a stir if he does decide to "spill the beans."

Posted on: July 13, 2011 11:09 am
Edited on: July 22, 2011 4:27 pm
 

Michael McAdoo hearing rescheduled in NCAA suit

Posted by Chip Patterson

Originally scheduled for this Friday, Michael McAdoo's hearing in Durham County Court has been rescheduled to Wednesday. On July 1, McAdoo filed a lawsuit against North Carolina and the NCAA seeking reinstatement after being ruled permanently ineligible by the NCAA.

McAdoo's argument is that the crimes he has been charged with do not fit the punishment of permanent ineligibility. He was found guilty by the NCAA of receiving improper assistance on multiple occasions over several terms. His lawyers argue that McAdoo has already served the punishment issued by the school's Honor Court. After sitting out all of the 2010 season (13 games) and working his way back into good standing academically, the former Tar Heel believes he belongs back on the field.

If McAdoo wins the case, he would have one final year left with the Tar Heels - unless he decides to transfer.
Posted on: July 8, 2011 3:54 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 4:47 pm
 

West Virginia closing the Rodriguez/Stewart era

Posted by Chip Patterson

On the same day that Ohio State responded to allegations and Caleb King was ruled academically ineligible, more NCAA-related news came out of the ongoing investigation of West Virginia. As first reported by Dennis Dodd, Rich Rodriguez and Bill Stewart were both charged with failure to monitor compliance with NCAA legislation.

The charges were in regards to the allegation that West Virginia exceeded the permissible limit of the number of coaches and staff members engaged in team coaching activities. West Virginia proposed two years probation, lose three scholarships, and other internal restrictions for the football program. The NCAA, West Virginia, Stewart, and Rodriguez agreed on the facts of the case, charges, and penalties.

For West Virginia fans, it is the beginning of moving on from the soap opera that was the Rodriguez-Stewart transition. The university will not fight these allegations or penalties, and clearly athletic director Oliver Luck and the rest of the administraton is ready to bring a close to all this mess as quickly as the NCAA will allow.  In the last few years there have been reports of shady transitions, more than one forced retirement/resignation, and then most recently the leaking of false information from inside the program. Combine all this drama with the controversy of adding beer sales to the certain West Virginia athletic events, and it is fair to say they have had enough off-field attention for one offseason. More than most schools in their conference, West Virginia is anxious to crate some on-field headlines.

When they do take the field, they should be creating headlines. The Mountaineers offense struggled at times in 2010, particularly considering the caliber of talent at each position. Eight starters return from that unit, and now they will be under the watch of Dana Holgorsen's high-octane system. The 6-foot-3 Geno Smith fits in perfectly, with an impressive arm to spread the ball around and the athletic ability to remain a threat outside the pocket. He's not a run-first quarterback, or even run-second, but he can still do damage with open space. The defense returns two of the best pass rushers in the nation, with Julian Miller and Bruce Irvin now both every-down defensive linemen. There are some experience issues in the secondary, but there are few quarterbacks outside of Cincinnati's Zach Collaros who have proven the ability to consistently beat teams downfield. Regardless of the shortcomings in West Virginia's outlook, they are still expected to be in the Big East title hunt.

Mountaineer fans have a head coach; one they can feel like they searched for and found. He arrived earlier than expected to the heralded post, but now he's here. It's time to close a very successful (and occasionally very dramatic) era in West Virginia football, and begin focusing on the future with one of the brightest offensive minds in the game.
Posted on: June 24, 2011 10:56 am
Edited on: June 24, 2011 3:51 pm
 

Oregon hired notable NCAA lawyer in March

Posted by Chip Patterson

The NCAA's latest high profile interest, thanks to some new details regarding scouting packages from Willie Lyles, is the Oregon football program. With the investigators just getting to work in Eugene, the school has made big moves to bring in some of the best legal assistance in the industry.

Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens confirmed to The Register-Guard on Thursday that the school retained the services of Bond, Schoeneck & King in March. Those services will be handled most notably by Michael Glazier, who leads the Collegiate Sports Practice Group - a division of the law firm that has gained notoriety for representing schools in cases regarding NCAA infractions.

Glazier, formerly a member of the NCAA's enforcement staff, has built a reputation as "the Cleaner" for his ability to help guilty schools lessen the blow of major violations on the program. Often his strategy includes admitting violations and being pro-active with self-imposed penalties. In the case of Oregon, Mullen says that Glazier was retained to help Oregon proceed with NCAA inquiries.

"As is prudent in a specialized matter, the university has consulted with outside counsel," Mullens wrote in his email to The Register-Guard. "In March, Mike Glazier was retained and has assisted UO in providing the NCAA all the information they have requested."

For Oregon, the move was more than prudent. There have been reports of ways that other investigations recently could have been aided with more/better legal advice, and it is hard to get better than Mike Glazier. His reputation and presence on campus by no means indicates any guilt/innocence on Oregon's part, but if the Ducks do face potential violations Glazier is the man you want in your corner.

UPDATE: CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd has also confirmed the news and spoke with Glazier today.  Click here for more on this story 
Posted on: June 21, 2011 1:49 pm
 

There's cause for concern in Oregon

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Drip, drip, drip.

That's generally how news comes out about NCAA investigations at schools and it appears Oregon fans are finding that out all too well this week. Monday night Oregon released several documents to the media as part of open records requests stemming from the NCAA's investigation into the scouting service run by Will Lyles. The biggest nugget to come out of the documents was the fact that the university paid $25,000 for a scouting report that was two years old.

Lyles' "2011 National Package" was full of recruits from the 2009 class and had, among the notable names, SMU's junior starting quarterback Kyle Padron. In fact, none of the 140 players in the booklet Oregon turned over were identified as recruits in the class of 2011. Lyles has been connected to current Oregon running backs LaMichael James and Lache Seastrunk and former running back Dontae Williams, all of whom are from Texas.

So what's next?

CBSSports.com Senior Writer Dennis Dodd, who is in Eugene this week, wrote Tuesday morning that it's hard for him to believe Oregon could be this dumb. After all, paying $25,000 for something that pales in comparison to any other national package and paying that amount for old and relatively useless information is something they can smell all the way in Indianapolis.

While most Oregon fans can admit that the entire episode seems shady, it's hard to see what NCAA bylaws the school broke in paying Lyles $25,000 for his recruiting service.

There are four main bylaws that govern scouting or recruiting services: 11.3.2.5 (school personnel can't consult or endorse services), 12.3.3.1 (services can distribute student-athletes information but can't be paid a fee based on placing them at a school), 13.1.7.20 (coaches can't watch off-campus video of athletes provided by services) and 13.14.3, which is the main definition of a recruiting or scouting service.

Oregon needs to be concerned about 12.3.3.1 and 13.14.3 (below):

An institution may subscribe to a recruiting or scouting service involving prospective student-athletes, provided the institution does not purchase more than one annual subscription to a particular service and the service: (Adopted: 1/1/02, Revised: 1/16/10)

(a) Is made available to all institutions desiring to subscribe and at the same fee rate for all subscribers;

(b) Publicly identifies all applicable rates;

(c) Disseminates information (e.g., reports, profiles) about prospective student-athletes at least four times per calendar year;

(d) Publicly identifies the geographical scope of the service (e.g., local, regional, national) and reflects broad-based coverage of the geographical area in the information it disseminates;

(e) Provides individual analysis beyond demographic information or rankings for each prospective student-athlete in the information it disseminates; (Revised: 4/13/10)

(f) Provides access to samples or previews of the information it disseminates before purchase of a subscription; and

(g) Provides video that is restricted to regularly scheduled (regular-season) high school, preparatory school or two-year college contests and for which the institution made no prior arrangements for recording. (Note: This provision is applicable only if the subscription includes video services.)


Based on the documents turned over to the media by Oregon, Lyles' service he provided the school fails to fit (c) and (d) because he did not distribute reports at least four times per year and his geographical scope does not fit the definition of a national package. The "National" package Lyles sent was supposed to contain information on 22 states yet only contained information from five states and all but five players were from the state of Texas. A national package it was not.

According to George Schroeder of the Register-Guard, the media requested the video Lyles sent along but a school spokesman said 'Lyles delivered some video, but said the school had difficulty retrieving the video from its computer system, or separating it from video gathered by other means.'

While it is difficult to predict what the NCAA enforcement staff will do, it's very possible they will declare this an impermissible recruiting service. The staff could then argue that the $25,000 was - in essence - a payoff for delivering players and a violation of bylaw 12.3.3.1. This would place the players eligibility in question as well and could result in victories being vacated for playing ineligible players. It would also mean Oregon committed a major violation.

Oregon and the Ducks' coaching staff would certainly have to explain themselves (so far the university has issued a no comment). The Committee on Infractions would certainly want an explanation and would no doubt dare Chip Kelly and the compliance department to show how they could justify $25,000 for old information. Saying they were just defrauded by Lyles likely won't cut it and failure to answer the question truthfully or a failure to explain why they didn't raise the issue beforehand could result in a 10.1 violation for unethical conduct. Ask Jim Tressel and Ohio State what happens when they commit a 10.1 violation.

One BCS conference compliance officer told CBSSports.com that based on what they've read, "It doesn't look good but I won't predict how it plays out." Another said, "It's possible Oregon thought what they were doing was permissible but got it very wrong."

The school has not been issued a Notice of Inquiry, which marks the formal start of the investigation but the NCAA is certainly looking what has been going on in Eugene. Combined with an inquiry into the basketball program and the fact that Oregon coaches exchanged around 400 text messages and numerous phone calls with Lyles, things are starting to get very interesting.

No one knows how things might turn out for Oregon but there is cause for concern in Eugene.
Posted on: June 17, 2011 12:33 pm
Edited on: June 17, 2011 9:41 pm
 

Records show Blake spoke to players during trip

Posted by Chip Patterson

A whopping $13,000 in parking tickets wasn't the only interesting revelation from North Carolina's release of documents on Thursday. Phone records show communication between former assistant John Blake and former players Marvin Austin and Cam Thomas during their trip to a California training facility before the 2009 season, J.P. Giglio of the News & Observer in Raleigh reported.

Cellphone records were obtained as part of the lawsuit filed by several local media outlets to release information withheld by the university. They show that Blake contacted numbers tied to Austin while he and Thomas were training with former UNC teammate Kentwan Balmer at Proactive Sports Performance in Westlake Village, Calif. -- a location frequently used by Gary Wichard and Pro Tect Management.

If Blake, or anyone else at UNC had knowledge of Austin and Thomas being with Balmer in California, it would be the responsibility of the North Carolina compliance office to investigate whether the trip was permissible.

Austin has contended as recently as March that no one at UNC knew about his trip with Thomas, but the communication between Blake, Wichard, Austin and Thomas suggests otherwise. Hotel receipts financially link Austin to Wichard's agency and show the dates of the players' stay as July 23 to Aug 1. From July 20 to Aug. 3, Blake's records show 20 calls or texts to Wichard's cellphone, 10 to Austin's and eight to Thomas.

While some have argued that these potential violations can be pinned on Blake, who resigned from the program one game into the 2010 season, the reality is that we may be far from the end of these allegations. Local media has a lot to gain from drawing dots together to try and find something that the NCAA may have missed in their investigation. North Carolina received their Notice of Inquiry from the NCAA on June 7, and sources have reported that the Notice of Allegations could come as soon as this week.

Once North Carolina receives their notice from the NCAA, the closure process can finally begin. It has been reported that the school is expecting the notice to highlight nine different infractions, including failure to monitor charges in relation to Blake, tutor Jennifer Wiley, and former player/runner Chris Hawkins. The notice will also include a suggestion of punishments for the allegations, which could include the loss of scholarships, probation or even a postseason and/or television ban. Once the notice is received, the school will have 90 days to respond and then there will be a date set for the school to appear in front of the Committee on Infractions.

For Tar Heel fans, the hope is that no additional allegations can be drawn from the information released as a result of the lawsuit. The faster that notice comes, the faster the hearing can be set and the entire process can finally be settled.

Posted on: June 13, 2011 9:50 pm
Edited on: June 14, 2011 6:28 am
 

Report: Cliff Harris' car rented by UO employee

Posted by Chip Patterson

When Oregon's All-American cornerback Cliff Harris was cited for driving 118 mph on Sunday night, most of the chatter was in regard to the triple digit speed. But a report by a local television station has drawn attention to possible NCAA violations that may have led to the incident.

The car Harris was driving at the time of the when he was clocked was rented by a university employee, KEZI in Eugene reported Monday. Police said that Harris was pulled over with two other unnamed Oregon football players and one other friend in a car that was rented from Hertz. KEZI learned from Hertz the name of the woman who rented the car. The woman's identity was not revealed, though she insists she can prove no wrongdoing.
"So, I rented the car for my own purposes on Friday. Cliff Harris and his licensed friend, who showed me his license, asked to borrow it and paid me the full amount in cash that I paid for the rental," said the woman, who agreed to speak to KEZI on the condition of anonymity.

  The woman, who describes herself as a friend of Harris over the past few months, said she was unaware he would be driving and also said she has proof that the amount she paid for the rental car matches two separte deposits she made into her bank account Friday.

  "I do have a copy of my bank statement, showing two deposits Friday of $180 and $120."
As long as Harris and the unidentified friend can prove no extra benefits were provided in the transaction, Oregon might be able to dodge a bullet this time. Still, it's not a good look for a national contender heading into the season to face potential violations when it comes to university employees. You have to imagine there will be skeptics here. But if the school and NCAA agree that the woman has done no wrong, the Ducks only suffer the publicity blow of their recklessly driving football players.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com