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NCAA Bylaw Blog writer John Infante talks positives, negatives for UM with latest developments

With reports surfacing that former basketball coach Frank Haith and football recruiting coordinators Clint Hurtt and Aubrey Hill are expected to be charged with unethical conduct in the NCAA's investigation into wrongdoing done at the University of Miami, I sought the expertise of NCAA Bylaw Blog writer John Infante Tuesday morning to digest what we are hearing and how it might affect the program.

Infante, a former compliance officer at NCAA Division I schools, has been running the Bylaw Blog for over two years and his expertise has been featured on ESPN, Sports Illustrated, USA Today and numerous other media outlets. Keep in mind he isn't privy to the information the NCAA has on Miami. He simply is giving his opinion based on what he's read from published reports.

Here is the transcript of my 15 minute one-on-one Q&A with him:

Q: There were reports Monday that about four former basketball coaches and at least two former assistant football coaches will be cited for violating bylaw 10.1 "unethical conduct" in the NCAA's investigation. How does that affect Miami positively or negatively?

"Well, it sounds like nearly all the assistants are being charged with unethical conduct and it also sounds like Frank Haith is going to be charged with failing to create an atmosphere of compliance, which generally only head coaches are charged with. It can be helpful [for Miami]. The biggest thing is when you have that many coaches [charged with unethical conduct] and go in front of the Committee on Infractions there's going to be a lot of people in the room to spread blame around. When you talk about the presentations and the answers given in front of the COI, I think generally the feeling is amongst a lot of people who have gone through that process is that coaches tend not to perform as well as the institution does. In the end for Miami, it all kind of depends what kind of charges the school is facing. We kind of expect in addition to the specific violations the NCAA feels it has evidence of it's pretty much a guarantee there is going to be a failure to monitor charge. I would also be surprised if there is not a lack of institutional control charge as well. If Miami's cooperation is considered better and the coaches don't perform well in the hearing that could lead to the COI sort of finding that in spite of institutional failings by Miami this was more the coaches fault and bring the penalties down on the coaches more than on the institution -- especially considering the two post-season bans the [football program] has already imposed."

Q: How much does Miami taking a two-year ban help its case with football?

"You're probably looking at no more than [two years]. Three years of post-season ban is pretty rare -- given the USC case, which is some of the harshest sanctions. Being already two years, I'm not sure you add a third one to a school that has self-imposed two. In terms of scholarships or recruiting restrictions, I don't know if it will have as big of an impact there. I kind of feel like they took care of that post-season penalty. The COI will impose other penalties they see fit and not go into any further post-season bans. If they did that's something Miami would probably appeal."

Q: We've heard UM has done a good job cooperating with the NCAA. How much does that help?

"I forget where I saw it reported but I have seen more than just cooperation, but exceptional cooperation. One of the things fans see is that schools get rewarded for cooperating, but there is a level of cooperation you have to do to meet your obligation and then there's a level you get extra credit for. [Cooperation is] making sure you get to interview everybody you want. Going and suggesting you should interview this guy as well because he may have information too -- that's when you see something like exceptional cooperation. It could be that [the NCAA is] giving [Miami] a little bit of praise publicly just because it wants to. But it could also mean [Miami is] reaching a certain level of cooperation that has significance in the NCAA investigation where they might get a break on a penalty as a result."

Q: Would exceptional cooperation be telling former athletes that if they didn't cooperate they wouldn't be allowed back on the sidelines? We've heard that and our Barry Jackson reported that last week.

"If they were able to get people who normally wouldn't have replied to the NCAA or allowed themselves to be interviewed by the NCAA and Miami helped make that happen -- especially athletes UM has no jurisdiction over -- that's going above and beyond what the NCAA asks on the case. That may lead to a lessening of penalties. But there is already a high bar for cooperation. You have to go above and beyond that to get any sort of relief from penalties in front of the COI. Having the coaches there especially if Miami is going along with it and agreeing to the findings of the NOA and the coaches aren't the ones fighting, in the end you are dealing with people who are making a judgement call. Being the one that's not fighting and the ones who want to raise a fuss about stuff makes the school look better in comparison."

Q: Former coach Randy Shannon has not linked to any of this. In fact, we've heard stories and its been reported he was telling his players and coaches to stay away from Nevin Shapiro. Does that help Miami's football program in this case considering it appears Haith was involved with Shapiro.

"It certainly does. We've seen Shannon not being named in any of the violations and him not facing any unethical conduct or failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance charges. Because he is the head coach, he is supposed to be the one as the direct link to the administration and what they do in terms of monitoring and applying compliance. If he did that well, that helps show there was a chain of command of monitoring and promoting institutional control and thus the blame falls on the assistant coaches. If that's the case then, we may see kind of a smaller failure to monitor or lack of institutional control that could end up more centered on the basketball violations where it looks like the head coach was involved in some manner. While charges like failure to monitor are institution violations it can get to be more specific than that. It can focus on what sport led to that charge."

Q: Will UM's history play a factor? The school was still under probation for baseball violations through the 2005-2006 academic year.

"It will. It certainly will be brought up by the COI. But I think it's more important if [Miami] is considered a repeat violator in this case. I believe a lot of that depends on how far back the NCAA is able to prove the violations. I believe they had a case [in baseball] in the mid 2000s. If they did in that case -- as Yahoo! reported -- they would definitely be under a repeat violator status. The thing is we haven't seen with that repeat violator status -- outside of the USC case -- that there have been significantly harsher penalties as a result. UCF is one example. UCF was under repeat violator status -- kind of a similar violation as Miami in terms of a booster or third party who is providing benefits on a smaller scale. But again we sort of saw them impose sort of a standard penalty the COI has been imposing, losing scholarships, a one-year post-season ban, recruiting restrictions, going after the individuals and sort of move on. I think the Miami case is probably a little too big for that. But again, I do kind of think in some ways the COI is going through the motions until the new enforcement program starts up in August. There is a little bit of a sense of the current process having a lame duck quality to it. That play in Miami's favor as well."

Q: How is the NCAA's new process different and how does the fact Miami doesn't fall under the new rules help?

"The new rules are going to be harsher, it's going to be a different kind of process and involve different people. We just saw there are eight new people appointed. So, I think because of this reset almost, the NCAA sees there are flaws in this process and as of Aug. 1, 2013 were going to fix it. While the current cases are taken seriously, the fact the same penalties have been applied in the last two or three cases sort of suggests they're not going with the same fire and brimstone as they did with USC. That helps Miami."


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Looks like 60% chance of no penalties.

As I said previously 1 more bowl ban (although there appears to be a good chance that no more bowl bans will be imposed). THAT WOULD BE HUUUGEEE!

AG should be on the phone now telling recruits, look, there is a very good chance we will be not be missing any more bowls. commit now. This is the U.

Thank you manny Navarro. Good work.

Back in the old days, green pea, I used to blow Jay Brophy. He was not gay but I loved it.

Hurricane 4 Life

In addition to the self imposed bowl bans we should get credit for putting up with the NCAA dragging this out and harming our recruiting efforts for over two years now. But the reality is that the NCAA never looks at itself in the mirror given they have the right to make huge money while giving the performers nothing but an education which these low income kids could get via a Pell Grant anyways. They can also waive this country's constitution and consider somebody guilty unless proven innocent, take the word of a serial liar and crook, and intimidate people into testifying, telliong they don't have the right to remain silent "the Shapiro Rights".


How LONG has this been hanging over our Heads?..

Will the NCAA consider this "hang time" as part of the punishment, because IMHO, it has hurt us both directly and indirectly, in constantly addressing this issue, with everyone's questions and speculations, as we try to go about our business at the 'U'.

Coach G should have a clear short term , and long term plan to wrap this up for players, fans, and everyone.

What a weight lifted off this guy's shoulders?..

Finally you can Get out of the TMZ Coach G, and let us move on, especially with recruits, and parents who have doubts or issues with this recruiting Class.

The statute of limitations have run out on " A FAIR and SPEEDY Dissolution of these charges " regarding the NCAA, and the Canes.
It's about time....
The 'U' will be the 'U'

I have been saying it all along; They will all come, they will all win jewelery and they will all play on Sunday's. THE U!!!

Bowl bans? Credit time served. Penalties coming down should be a fine, mandatory implementation of compliance mechanisms (already done), and scholly losses. The scholly losses should be manageable and AG has been preparing for this for 2 years now with the distribution of scholarships given last year and this year. We all know that the thing killing this program for 2 years is the UNCERTAINTY. Remove this variable and UM should bounce back strong.

WHAT!!!!!!Where is my death penalty!!??.....How am I gonna write a book about this!!??......I cant make millions off of this crap!!!......and why is my roommate putting on lipstick AGAIN!!??......Noooooo, please....I was lying about most of the Miami stuff.......I dont want to play the "Bad Ponzi Schemer" game again!!!.......GUARD!!???.......OFFICER!!!!!!....somebody???.....HEEELLLP!!!!!

It's really 3 bowl bans.....nobody is mentioning the ACC championship game they gave up!!!

We skatin' maybe only on one wheel but we skatin'

Because the championship game and the bowl game given up are a single year. It's considered ONE post season ban.

my problem with shannon was never his compliance stuff. He was a stickler there. Thats pretty much his best quality. That and getting his kids to class. I thought he deserved 5 yrs. The problem was the longer he was in charge the worse his players got. The freshman went 9=-4 and got worse. Thats why he was fired and what people had an issue with to be honest. Watching players like jacory get worse yr to yr is a hard pill to swallow when they should get better.

Mainecane, close. They were 7-6 as freshmen.

So ready for this to be behind Miami. Odd years are Miami's years, let's get it this year.

About 6 months ago, I caught a misstatement of law he uttered in Barry Jackson's column.
It said " Meanwhile, John Infante – considered an NCAA compliance expert – told WQAM's Adam Kuperstein and Channing Crowder on Wednesday: “There is only so much Miami can do. Miami has an obligation to kind of cooperate with the investigation. The NCAA is not bound by the Constitution. They are not part of the government…."

What? Since WHEN is ANYONE or any group not responsible to the Constitution?
And this moron is on ESPN, and his word considered gospel?

BTW, my response in Jackson's column was removed. I just checked.

My point being, there is no accounting for the NCAA's whims, and so many there, including certain UF and SEC types may go above and beyond.
ANOTHER bowl ban or loss of TV for a year, and 10-15 scholarships lost for 3 years.
I hope that's not the case, but there is just so much bias against UM.

To 'That Guy'...yes you're correct in that its technically only a one year ban for 2012. But from a negotiation standpoint, we will get credit for the
ACC Championship self-imposed ban also...

Jeez the NCAA = KGB. That did not sound so bad though. As for Coach Shannon. Once a Cane always a Cane. Not great game day head football coach but discipline was not an issue.

Interesting insight from this former NCAA compliance representative.That said....he did not/cannot probably know how many schollys will be taken from Miami.Also.....it seems Miami really can thank Randy Shannon for his personal rejection of the scumbag Nevin Shapiro.Shannon likely has kept the Canes far from the death penalty and that there is an INTERIM period of time now before the new,tougher NCAA bylaws starting in August also will somewhat diminish the harshness of perhaps a few of the sanctions.

There is no way UM will be banned from TV. That affects Conference TV packages and it is off limits. I hope UM does not lose another bowl game, but we shall see. The loss of scholarships is the big concern, and I have my fingers crossed, but I fear the NCAA will be most harsh in this area. USC lost 10 per year for 3 years and I won't be shocked if UM gets the same punishment. Hopefully, the NCAA will go after individual coaches more than the institution, which is supposedly their new emphasis.

Things just got better for UM. The NCAA broke its own rules in gaining info regarding the Shapiro investigation. It gained access to info it had no right to receive. The NCAA is now in a very messy situation. This bodes well for UM.

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