A few notes from UM’s two-day hearings last week in front of the NCAA’s infractions committee, according to three sources, including one in the room:
### UM was led to believe that the infractions committee will try to render a decision on potential sanctions in six to eight weeks but made no assurances.
### UM emerged feeling optimistic, believing the infractions committee will look at the case in a fair and unbiased manner, unlike some members of the enforcement staff.
### In one exchange, when an enforcement staff member made a particular argument, an infractions member said that comment did not make sense. But the infractions committee generally did not pass judgment during the hearing.
### The process was rough, at times, for the ex-UM coaches. Clint Hurtt, especially, was grilled with tough questions, including follow-ups that put him on the spot.
### While the NCAA defended Nevin Shapiro’s credibility with regard to his claims against UM, UM worked vigorously to undermine it.
At one point, UM said that if even though the NCAA has used felons before as informants, it was important for the infractions committee to keep in mind that Shapiro in in jail for a crime that involved lying.
### Still, the hearings weren’t combative between the sides; the lawyers didn’t interrupt each other, and the coaches kept their cool.
### UM mentioned that it previously asked NCAA president Mark Emmert to stop commenting about the case. Emmert said in August 2011 that the “death penalty” could be play. (It is not.)
### The NCAA told UM there was no need to mention the tainted evidence against UM that was tossed from the case. So in this hearing, UM could not emphasize that in condemning how the NCAA has handled the case.
### The sources said UM president Donna Shalala delivered a compelling opening statement, pointing out how UM has self-imposed penalties, and that UM attorney Mike Glazier was also impressive.
### The committee did not make a ruling on UM’s or four of the coaches’ motions to dismiss. UM isn’t expecting it to be granted.
### FYI: Ed Griffith of the state attorney’s office told me last week that the state would not be filing charges against NCAA investigator Rich Johanningmeier because it found no evidence that he committed a crime against Dyron Dye. Dye went to the Coral Gables police, and his attorney (Darren Heitner) went to the state attorney’s office, alleging that Johanningmeier used intimidation tactics and coercion to extract testimony from Dye.