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NCAA response to UM has omissions, faulty logic; Dolphins, Heat chatter

SUNDAY BUZZ COLUMN

News and views on the NCAA’s UM investigation:

### What stood out about the enforcement staff’s response to UM’s motion to dismiss were glaring omissions and in some cases, dubious defense, of its objectionable conduct.

As UM’s motion asserted, 20 of the NCAA’s allegations against UM are “without any corroboration from involved parties other than Nevin Shapiro…. Many were denied by involved former student athletes… If Shapiro described a given allegation on more than one occasion, they considered it… self-corroboration and included the allegation in the notice.”

One of those, we hear: Shapiro giving $50,000 to Vince Wilfork. Also, the NCAA asserts 48 players received VIP access and beverage services from Shapiro; UM says there’s corroborating evidence for only four.

What’s more, “the enforcement staff also included several allegations that were only substantiated by convicted ex-felon Mimi Menoscal, Shapiro’s ex-girlfriend. Menoscal in September 2010 plead guilty to stealing at least $380,000 by running a sham wholesale shipping company that kept up-front payments without ever shipping any products.”

So what did NCAA interim vice president of enforcement Jonathan Duncan say about any of this in his response? Nothing, beyond claiming this “is an improper time” to debate Shapiro’s credibility. Expect Shapiro’s credibility to be a major focus of UM’s defense in its mid-June hearing.

### Amazingly, Duncan gave no indication he found anything objectionable with since-fired investigator Ameen Najjar writing a letter on Shapiro’s behalf to his sentencing judge before the NCAA interviewed anyone else.

Duncan said even though the letter “could be seen as vouching for Shapiro’s credibility, the enforcement staff did not assume that information Shapiro reported was truthful.” Then why did the NCAA charge UM with 20 uncorroborated allegations? And why did Najjar write the letter?

### When an interviewee says something wrong, the NCAA usually alleges dishonesty. But when an NCAA investigator does it, it’s passed off as an honest mistake.

Consider investigator Abigail Grantstein, who was fired because her boyfriend told somebody on a plane last summer that she said she was “going to get” UCLA’s Shabazz Muhammad and that he wouldn’t play, even before she received any evidence.

Here's how Grantstein tainted the UM case: Former assistant basketball coach Jake Morton told the NCAA that he repaid a $5000 loan to Shapiro. But Grantstein told Frank Haith that Morton said that Morton delivered $10,000 in cash to Shapiro’s mother’s house in June 2010. When Haith questioned that, puzzled that Morton would say such a thing, Grantstein repeated the misinformation.

Morton said no such thing, and Grantstein’s misstatement was significant, because $10,000 was the figure that Shapiro alleged he paid Morton to ensure DeQuan Jones’ commitment – a claim the NCAA tried to prove but couldn’t. Grantstein also told Haith that Shapiro’s former bodyguard made the same $10,000 claim, even though Sanchez never told the NCAA that and the comment was impermissibly obtained.

Duncan conveniently didn’t mention the Sanchez comment in his response and excused Grantstein’s “misstatement” partly because it didn’t elicit confessions from Haith.

And consider this: Haith told the NCAA that Morton did not talk to him about his relationship with Shapiro. Two weeks later, investigator Brynna Barnhart told Morton: “I’ll be honest, Haith put a lot of the relationship between the men’s basketball program and Nevin on you… that you’re the one who kind of brought Nevin into the program.”

Duncan defended Barnhart too, saying Haith changed part of his story. But Haith never said what Barnhart attributed to him. Instead, Haith said UM’s development staff introduced Shapiro to the program.

### Duncan also defended Stephanie Hannah, assigned to the UM investigation after Najjar was fired, even though she continued to do what Najjar was doing: paying Shapiro’s attorney and collaborating with her to try to get people under oath who didn’t want to speak to the NCAA.

Duncan said Hannah thought this had been approved. What he should be asking is this: Why wouldn’t one of the investigators realize such an arrangement was improper and should be discussed with supervisors? Hannah “either acted in bad faith or was incompetent,” UM says.

### Duncan said the NCAA planned to interview former UM athletic director Paul Dee last June --- 15 months after the investigation started – but didn’t know he was ill. That’s not valid. It was widely known around UM that Dee, who died last May, had throat and tongue cancer and was having trouble speaking.

### Long-time investigator Wayne Black tells us Dee hired him to look into Shapiro several years ago “when no one had heard of the guy.” But sources said Black worked on the case only a few days and found nothing of great concern. Black wanted to tell us more, but UM said he couldn’t.

### Sources say neither Al Golden, Michael Barrow nor any current football staffers are accused of wrongdoing in the Notice of Allegations, Yahoo incorrectly accused both of violations.

### Outrageous: The NCAA never told UM about Najjar’s letter to Shapiro’s judge. UM found out when the Associated Press got it from Perez’s Florida Bar complaint.

### UM is challenging the NCAA using Shapiro’s photos with players as evidence, saying they are undated and aren’t proof of rules violations.

### The NCAA plans to make an issue of its claim that Haith changed part of his story the second time he interviewed.

### Shapiro once gave Najjar a flow chart with 16 schools affected by his violations. Shapiro alleged some committed violations; others signed players that Shapiro said UM improperly recruited.

CHATTER

 ### Musings from Heat president Pat Riley: He said when LeBron James "gets older, he might even have to do less. That’s the great thing about Dwyane Wade. I laugh when people say he’s getting a little bit older or is this or that or anything other than what he is – which is a great, great player. For him to get what he wants, he had to give away something and he gave it away very unselfishly to help this whole team work."

### Riley said putting a cast around his three stars wasn’t "rocket science. It wasn’t like we were on pins and needles about whether this guy was going to sign. They wanted to be here and play with those guys. [It’s] a very competent, eclectic group who really support our best players."… He believes the Heat "has two very good point guards now."

### Riley, on Erik Spoelstra: "It’s been his finest year as a coach. That man who is blessed with a lot [of player talent] is overlooked when really it’s one of the hardest jobs to do – to have to win and Eric has to win."

### Riley, on the state of the  franchise: "What’s going on right now is just crazy. When you come and watch LeBron play every night, I  remember what it was like with Magic Johnson. It’s  great to be part of it and it’s going to be very difficult to maintain because you have to keep winning."

### Milwaukee forward Mike Dunleavy, on LeBron: "There are three new planets out there that might have extraterrestrial life. Maybe he's from one of them."

### Some Dolphins will be disappointed if Miami trades Davone Bess, which hasn’t been ruled out publicly. One defensive player said Bess gets open all the time in practice. “In my opinion, he’s the best receiver we have,” said practice squad receiver Brian Tyms. (Actually, that’s Mike Wallace.).

### The Dolphins have expressed interest in -- and spent a lot of time with --- several North Carolina players, including offensive tackle Brennan Williams, guards Jonathan Cooper and Travis Bond, running back Gionvani Bernard and defensive tackle Sylvester Williams, whom the Dolphins really like.  

### In its perpetual quest for the speed, the Dolphins were one of a limited number of teams that attended a private workout for Utah receiver/All-American kick returner Reggie Dunn, who had four 100-yard touchdown returns last season. They also called him in recent days. He reportedly ran a 4.35 in the 40.  

### Please follow me on Twitter: @flasportsbuzz

Comments

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George

ncaa needs to be disbanded. miami should leave.

Steve B

Barry your reporting on this has been top notch and cutting edge. You are doing what a journalist should do -dig deep and find the truth. This is the best expose' of the NCAA to date . No wonder Shalala has taken the stance that she has.
The NCAA ,the biggest monopoly in the United States per Harvard Business School has become a reckless organization staffed by dishonest or incompetent attorneys like Grantstein ,Richman Hannah and Najjar who saw the power given to them as a mandate to prejudge,threaten and harass their targets without checks and balances. This latest info is jaw dropping.

UCheat

More UM PR from the Herald...what a shock.

Steve B

Haters like Ucheat will have a lot to hate about as the U comes storming back in football and establishes itself as a top notch BBall program in the coming years.

JockDoc

This crap is just that....crap. I hope the COI sees this for what it was, a Yahoo inspired, unproven, load of elephant crap dumped on Miami's front step for a few drinks and admission to a club from a swindler who wanted connect with men who were taller than 5'2" and didn't look like Hobbits. I hope he gets raped in prison every day by a UF or ND drop out. I hope the NCAA winds up paying UM a princely sum to make this go away and the court tells the NCAA to never step foot on campus again unless they ask the Courts permission. Words cannot describe the hate I feel for Mark Emmert. He's a piece of garbage that deserves to be hauled out and beaten in Dolphin Stadium before the UF game just to get the crowd going while wearing UF gear and a Gator Hat.

H Gui

Anyone notice its a bunch of women out to prosecute and deny young men the opportunity to further their lives with sport? Shame on them...

FZ B

Barry, my compliments to you, thanks for the info..

thirstybuzzardcane

Once again, great job Barry!


Miami should get time served w/ 9 scollies lost for 3 years (3 per year). They should also sue Yahoo big time for defamation.....the money they get from the lawsuit should go right to Goldens contract and keep him here for a long time, he deserves it!!!!!

Bobbyd12

Fantastic job Barry. I enjoy reading your column and the great info in it.

Canes60

If this gets as far as Miami suing the NCAA, an already embarrassed NCAA will be thrown to the dogs by what will come out-in court. The liars that they are.

Ricocane

First of all UCheat molests poodles. Nevin and is ex-girlfriend have confirmed that as a fact.

Second of all, the NCAA as we know it is on the way out. Sooner than later we have four or five 16 team super conferences and they will be governed by a college football commissioner.

GO CANES!!!

scuba

UCheat...

You are obviously just a kid...A fan of any school should be on the side of Miami. You must realize if the NCAA can do this to Miami, they can do anything to any school including the one you favor.

Or, you are just a child and can't see it or just enjoy being immature.

E K

June is looking very good. I guess the NCAA proved the argument wrong that if you set out to find supporting proof then you will find it. Like I used to think it was possible to find proof that would support the idea that cigarette smoking is actually good for you, but after watching the NCAA trying to find something that sticks so they can throw the book at Miami, I am laughing thinking to myself how in the world could someone actually believe cigarette smoking is good or Nevin Shapiro is telling the truth.

I mean this guy just schemed nearly $1 BILLION and either the NCAA actually believes him or the NCAA is desperate to destroy Miami. I mean how many stories have we all heard about Auburn and Mississippi States recruitment of Cam Newton, but the NCAA does a glance instead of an investigation of the possible violation even though there is substantial proof that Cam Newton's dad got a very generous donation enough to improve his church facilities. The sad thing is Mississippi State told the NCAA of the wrong doing, because they admitted that they had a booster try to buy Cam Newton's commitment but Cam passed their offer for a better one at Auburn. Then there is the deer antler that both LSU and Alabama are alleged to have taken by a salesperson of the deer antler, but no one does an investigation. And once again Auburn is in the spot light for actually paying players and changing their grades, but no one does an investigation.

The Bottom line is the NCAA hates Miami and will do anything and everything to take Miami down even though there are plenty schools that are being accused by reputable sources compared to the likes of Nevin Shapiro for violations but no investigations are being done.

DMoneyUM

Cigarette smoking is neuro-protective and protect against Perkinson's Disease. I am a PhD scientist and work on lung and prostate cancer, so do not start smoking. But I wanted to let you know it does have some benefits.

rboud

The NCAA knows it's very existence could be at stake here. When any lawbreaker is caught red handed by a cop, the lawbreaker will instinctively lie, almost as a reflex. The NCAA is no different. They've been exposed and they act like any other who has done wrong. UM deserves punishment and has already gotten a pretty heavy dose. UM will lose no more postseason games, but some scholarships. The worst is over for UM. The NCAA is desperately trying to survive.

jmike

I still wonder where are all the people that wanted Spo fired last year. Oh yeah eating crow.

#1 CANES !!!

Thanks Barry !!! Great job for making us Cane fans feel falsely and overly confidant that the NCAA is the bad guys, we did nothing wrong, we are totally innocent and the NCAA is just out to get us !

The NCAA is GOING DOWN and The U will run College Football til the END of TIME !!!

VIVA SHALALA !!!

14-0 ! ACC Champs ! 2013 National Champs !

2013 Super Bowl CHAMPS if they let []_[]s !!!

#1 CANES !!!

btw... anyone know where I can get some weed? my connection got busted, but he's innocent.

Miami Penguin

The NCAA's dishonesty about efforts to interview Paul Dee? Disgusting.

Putney Swope

Barry,

As usual, great work...thank you!

It is my opinion that even more NCAA maleficence concerning the Miami matter will be uncovered, which will ultimately lead to the firing of Mark Emmert.

PS: I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if it is Barry who daylights more NCAA misdeeds.

B Jaxson

Barry,

You are amazing, best work ever in the history of journalism. As usual, great work, thank you lord Barry Jackson. Awesome job on covering UM! Now go out, cash that UM propaganda check, and hit up the King of Diamonds.

Georgia Cane

Great job Barry! It's obvious that the NCAA will cover its compromised investigation. My question is, can UM bring an outside source,to hear both sides. If not UM doesn't stand a chance to defend themselves. Keep up the good work Barry!

Reality Bites

How dare the big bad NCAA obtain the truth in a nefarious fashion! Brilliant for Shalala to threaten to sue them. Let's get all involved parties under oath, under subpena. Let's do what the NCAA couldn't do, force all the wrongdoers and guilty parties to tell the truth in court. Sean allen, Wilfork, and all the countless former players, coaches and other recipients of Shapiro's largesse.
What a genius Shalala and all the cane bandwagon fans who want to sue the NCAA.
Can't wait till June.

dUmb and dUmber

Why did UM pay 80k to the Shapiro bankrupcy court?
Was it because they felt bad about the victims and wanted to contribute some cash?
What a charitable University!
But why did they pay with the condition of immunity for the University, coaches, players and staff?
Was it because they did not want the court to subpena those individuals and make them testify under oath?
And know some geniuses are calling for a suit to be filed that would nullify all that, with Shalala as the main cheerleader. Didn't Shalala approve that hush money be paid?
What a waste of 80k. The blind and the clUeless shine at the University of Mediocre.

green

BREAKING: ACC will announce unanimous 15 school agreement extending Grant of Media Rights
-- David Glenn Show

ACC Grant of Rights most likely means that no ACC school will be leaving anytime soon. Would forfeit media rights money.
-- John Terry

Probably required by TV to even consider a dedicated ACC Network.
-- mattsarz

SOLIDARITY FOREVER

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