February 22, 2013
Yesterday, the NCAA released findings into its external investigation over improper conduct in the Miami investigation. The major issue at hand was that former NCAA Director of Enforcement Ameen Najjar agreed to let Nevin Shapiro's attorney, Maria Elena Perez, depose witnesses in a bankruptcy case to obtain relevant information to the NCAA's investigation in exchange for money.
That plan was approved by Vice President of Enforcement, Julie Roe Lach, and Managing Director of Enforcement, Tom Hosty, but not the NCAA's legal staff. As a result, the independent investigation cited "missteps" and "insufficient oversight" by members of the NCAA's enforcement staff.
In a release, NCAA president Mark Emmert said the Association would continue with its investigation of UM, but without using the information obtained by Perez. Later that day, Miami president Donna Shalala torched the NCAA in a statement that called for no additional punitive measures.
However, the NCAA is standing by its intentions to finish the investigation. According to a report from the Associated Press, the NCAA handed Miami its Notice of Allegations on Tuesday — something that was supposed to have come last month. Exactly what the allegations are at this point aren't clear. Neither the NCAA, nor Miami, has commented on the matter.
If the AP is correct, the NOA comes roughly two years after the NCAA began investigating the program because of claims that Shapiro, a former UM booster who is now serving jail time for orchestrating a Ponzi scheme, provided numerous impermissible benefits to athletes.
The next step for Miami, which is a private institution and not subject to open records requests, will be to prepare a response for the NCAA's Committee on Infractions. The university has already self-imposed two postseason bans in an effort to soften any potential sanctions.