INDIANAPOLIS -- They're back behind closed doors this morning.
The University of Miami's contingent -- led by President Donna Shalala -- was back in a second floor conference room at the Westin Hotel at approximately 8 a.m. Friday to continue the hearings into the allegations brought forth by former booster and now jailed ponzi-schemer Nevin Shapiro.
With Missouri basketball coach Frank Haith having checked out of the hotel Thursday evening it is strongly believed the focus of discussions have switched to football today. Haith's former basketball assistants Jake Morton and Jorge Fernandez also haven't been spotted in the hotel today.
Former football assistants Clint Hurtt and Aubrey Hill, however, are in the conference room. I've been told by a source the infractions committee is trying to clear out the individual allegations first before shifting its focus to UM and issues like lack of institutional control, etc.
From what a source told me, it hasn't been a pleasant experience for the parties involved. Despite the mistakes the NCAA enforcement staff made and the 20 percent of the case that was tossed out, the infractions committee is going hard at the other 80 percent of the case that wasn't deemed tainted.
By the way, if you're wondering how these hearings work here is a quick explanation from the NCAA:
> Documents with all pertinent information from the 23-month investigation conducted by the NCAA enforcement staff are prepared and submitted to the Committee on Infractions (8-person panel) and everyone else involved in the case (UM, Haith, Hurtt, Hill, etc.).
> The hearing is run by the chair of the committee, currently Conference-USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky.
> Similar to a court proceeding, all involved parties, including UM and the enforcement staff (made up of three enforcement staff members) give opening statements. Both the enforcement staff and the institution and other involved parties make presentations on each individual allegation. Infractions committee members ask questions. After all allegations are discussed, each party offers closing statements.
> The committee’s main job is to reach the correct decision, so the hearing takes as much or as little time as necessary. The committee wants to be sure that when the hearing is complete, everyone in the room has had the opportunity to say everything they need to say.
> The committee deliberates in private to determine its findings and what penalties should be assessed. The committee’s report, prepared with the assistance of NCAA staff separate from enforcement, is released eight to 12 weeks after a hearing.