You do not have to look for in the state of Pennsylvania who believes the NCAA is a fraud institution, incapable of managing collegiate athletics with an ounce of credibility. After the way the NCAA handled Penn State last summer, admittedly going beyond their normal reach and overstepping typical procedures to issue significant penalties against the university following the release of the Freeh Report, the NCAA was criticized not just by the Penn State faithful, but by national columnists and analysts as well.
|"Trust and credibility are essential to our regulatory tasks."|
Whether it was right or wrong for the NCAA to issue sanctions against Penn State, or whether or not the NCAA was too harsh or too lenient on Penn State remains a topic of debate for some to this day. The state of Pennsylvania is even going so far as to challenge the NCAA over the sanctions through the legal system. Time will tell how much impact that has of course. I remain somewhat skeptical myself to the level of success the state will see out of the lawsuit, but today I have a feeling they may have just picked up at least a small bit of hope.
The NCAA announced they are opening an external investigation in to their own enforcement program after uncovering some potential problems during an investigation in to the University of Miami. Simply put, the NCAA enforcement staff uncovered information illegally to be used in the investigation and they now must re-evaluate their own procedures before they can move forward with any more on the Miami case. It could be good news for Miami in the long run, although it may be premature to suggest the case will be abandoned or counted as a mistrial.
Of course, comparing the Miami and Penn State cases would be similar to comparing apples and oranges. The NCAA did not illegally obtain the information used for the Penn State case, but it did use the info without any further investigation from the NCAA's own staff. That remains the bigger issue as far as Penn State is concerned. If the lawsuit is going to have any grounds to work on, pointing out shortcomings and incompetence of the NCAA will be just that. This news related to Miami could help fuel any case presented by the NCAA when it comes to discrediting the NCAA's ethics and policies.
But I am certainly no legal expert so any lawyers or aspiring lawyers out there can feel free to chime in on this. This could all very well mean absolutely nothing in the Pennsylvania lawsuit. After all, the NCAA saw that Penn State funded an external investigation and presented it as-is. If the investigation by a former FBI director seemed credible enough for the school and the NCAA, the case could be an open-and-shut case.
If you are seeing this Miami news expecting it to lead to some cut back on Penn State sanctions, keep dreaming. I just do not see it happening. But do not let me stand here and stop you from thinking about the various possibilities.
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