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3 posts from February 18, 2013

February 18, 2013

Shalala releases statement on NCAA, wants quick resolution

University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala made this statement concerning the external Enforcement Review Report the NCAA issued earlier today regarding the improper handling of its investigation of the University of Miami.

"The University takes full responsibility for the conduct of its employees and student-athletes. Where the evidence of NCAA violations has been substantiated, we have self-imposed appropriate sanctions, including unilaterally eliminating once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for our students and coaches over the past two years, and disciplining and withholding players from competition.

"We believe strongly in the principles and values of fairness and due process. However, we have been wronged in this investigation, and we believe that this process must come to a swift resolution, which includes no additional punitive measures beyond those already self-imposed.

"In September 2010—two and a half years ago—the University of Miami advised the NCAA of allegations made by a convicted felon against former players and, at that time, we pledged our full cooperation with any investigation into the matter. One year later, in August 2011, when the NCAA's investigation into alleged rules violations was made public, I pledged we would 'vigorously pursue the truth, wherever that path may lead' and insisted upon 'complete, honest, and transparent cooperation with the NCAA from our staff and students.'

"The University of Miami has lived up to those promises, but sadly the NCAA has not lived up to their own core principles. The lengthy and already flawed investigation has demonstrated a disappointing pattern of unprofessional and unethical behavior. By the NCAA leadership's own admission, the University of Miami has suffered from inappropriate practices by NCAA staff. There have also been damaging leaks to the media of unproven charges. Regardless of where blame lies internally with the NCAA, even one individual, one act, one instance of malfeasance both taints the entire process and breaches the public's trust.

"There must be a strong sense of urgency to bring this to closure. Our dedicated staff and coaches, our outstanding student-athletes, and our supporters deserve nothing less."

Cristobal hired to become Alabama's new offensive line coach

Mario Cristobal's fourth stint at the University of Miami sure didn't last very long.

Hired by coach Al Golden to serve as associate head coach and tight ends coach a month ago after being fired as the head coach at FIU, Cristobal on Monday accepted a job offer to become the new offensive line coach at Alabama according to multiple reports.

UM has yet to confirm it.

Cristobal, 42, replaces former Hurricanes offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland, who was recently hired by new Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly.

Cristobal, who played and won two national titles at UM and served as an assistant coach from 2004-06, interviewed for the job on Friday in Tuscaloosa and was weighing the decision on whether or not to take it over the weekend, a source said.

UM hired Cristobal on Jan. 10 and then his former offensive coordinator at FIU two weeks later in James Coley. The two are solid recruiters in South Florida.

NCAA: Only 20 percent of tainted info will be tossed out of UM investigation, process will move on

For those of us hoping for some finality in the two-year NCAA investigation into alleged rule-breaking at the University  of Miami, that day wasn't Monday.

Here is what you need to know: The NCAA has fired people on its enforcement staff, admits again it screwed up, but the case is proceeding to the Committee on Infractions. There will be no settlement. About 20 percent of the investigation has been dubbed "tainted" and has been tossed out. What's tainted? The interviews conducted by Nevin Shapiro's lawyer with Sean Allen and subsequently 13 other interviews and portions of 12 others after that.

When will the Notice of Allegations be sent to UM? President Mark Emmert wouldn't say. "I'm not giving it a timetable," he said.

> Here is the audio of the teleconference with reporters.

> Here is a link to the 52-page report released by the External Review committee on the NCAA's investigation into UM and the NCAA press release on the findings.