Report: UM President Donna Shalala Releases Statement

University of Miami president Donna Shalala has released a statement following the NCAA’s admission to “missteps [and] insufficient oversight” in their two-year long probe of the Hurricanes football and basketball teams.

July 23, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; NCAA president Mark Emmert speaks during a press conference at the NCAA Headquarters to announce corrective and punitive measures against Penn State University for the child abuse committed by former Penn State Nittany Lions assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

In the NCAA’s external Enforcement Review Report, president Mark Emmert admitted that during the governing bodies investigation, the NCAA had in fact improperly handled certain aspects of their case pertaining to their investigation into UM.

While the NCAA has agreed to dismiss around “20 percent of the information the governing body of college athletics has deemed tainted,” president Emmert insists that the ongoing investigation into Miami will indeed move forward.

So that leaves one to wonder.  Hasn’t UM already suffered enough?  After all, Miami’s football program has self-imposed two consecutive bowl bans, forfeited the chance to represent the Coastal Division in the 2012 ACC Championship game; not to mention, lost out on millions of dollars of revenue, as well as struck out on top-notch recruits due to the negative recruiting spewed its from competitors.

When is enough enough?

For those of you who thought that the NCAA would miraculously bestow ‘time served’ upon UM, to you president Emmert begrudgingly shakes his finger.

It seems that Emmert is in a bit of a conundrum.  Should he pursue his probe into Miami and ultimately lay down the gavel?  Should he, you can bet that Miami will have a slew of lawyers ready, all of whom foaming at the mouth at the chance to sink their teeth into the NCAA.  Should he not, the NCAA will only solidify their image as incompetent buffoons.

Here is president Shalala’s recent statement, courtesy of the University of Miami’s official website.

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.”

More about the Miami investigation can be seen here.

Topics: Donna Shalala, Football, Mark Emmert, Miami Hurricanes

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