NCAA reiterates: Top lawyer did not approve hiring of Shapiro attorney

The NCAA has reiterated the inappropriate use of Nevin Shapiro’s attorney was never approved by NCAA general counsel Donald Remy.

At least one media report citing a source familiar with the decision, stated Wednesday the use of attorney Maria Elena Perez was approved by both Remy and the “vice president of enforcement.” That would be a reference to enforcement director Julie Roe Lach.

The NCAA issued this statement on its site: "Media reports yesterday quoting unnamed sources said the inappropriate use of Nevin Shapiro’s attorney to obtain depositions in the Miami case was authorized by the NCAA General Counsel’s office. These reports are not true. In fact, evidence shows the General Counsel’s Office specifically told the enforcement staff — on at least two occasions prior to any arrangements being made with the attorney — that they could not use Shapiro’s attorney for that purpose. As a result, the external investigation is solely focused on the behavior within and the environment of the enforcement program."

During Wednesday’s conference call with NCAA president Mark Emmert to announce the NCAA’s external review, specifically asked who would have approved the use of Elena Perez. Who would have signed off on (retaining Elena Perez)?

Emmert: "Any personnel decision … or hiring of outside counsel, it’s supposed to be approved by the general counsel office and that was not done in this case. The general counsel did not approve the outside hiring to conduct these depositions. That’s one of the issues I have to get to the bottom of and how in the world that happened." So essentially the NCAA was paying an attorney who was representing the subject of a current investigation to gather information for itself?

Emmert: "That appears to be the case."

Replying to an earlier question from a media member during the call, Emmert expanded on the chain of command:

“For the most part I only keep track of the pace these [cases] are moving forward --essentially the stage of the investigation that they’re in. In the case of Miami you had obviously a very complex case that involved lots of individuals. That part has been discussed. The collection of evidence was complicated, we all knew that. There was certainly interest expressed by me and others to move this case along as rapidly as we could. My involvement -- and it’s been my predecessors practice as well -- is not become involved in the detail of what’s going on with a case but to keep track of what the big cases are.

“The responsibilities for all these cases would flow through what you would expect to be the normal sort of chain of command. The individuals who were working directly with the Shapiro attorney reported up to a managing director who reported to the vice president. [presumambly a reference to Lach] 

"Part of what I have to have the investigator ascertain when exactly people knew what was going on and why this evolved in the first place.”

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Dennis Dodd has covered college football for CBS Sports since it was CBS SportsLine in 1998. He is one of only seven media members to attend all 16 BCS title games and has chronicled conference realignment... Full Bio

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