|espnW.com: College Sports|
“In a statement Thursday, Emmert said the claim that the arrangement was authorized by the NCAA's general counsel is not true. "In fact, evidence shows the General Counsel's Office specifically told the enforcement staff -- on at least two occasions prior to any arrangements being made with the attorney -- that they could not use Shapiro's attorney for that purpose," Emmert said. "As a result, the external investigation is solely focused on the behavior within and the environment of the enforcement program." A source told ESPN's "Outside the Lines" that the latest development is a "huge mess" but also claimed that it likely will not jeopardize the NCAA's overall investigation of Miami. "It's another delay," the source told OTL. "This case has been dragging on forever." Miami president Donna Shalala, in a statement released through the university, said she is "frustrated, disappointed and concerned" that the NCAA may have compromised the investigation. "As we have done since the beginning, we will continue to work with the NCAA and now with their outside investigator hoping for a swift resolution of the investigation and our case," Shalala said. The Hurricanes' athletic compliance practices have been probed by the NCAA for nearly two years. Allegations of wrongdoing involving Miami's football and men's basketball programs became widely known in August 2011, when Yahoo! Sports published accusations brought by Shapiro, who is serving a 20-year term in federal prison for masterminding a $930 million Ponzi scheme. Miami has self-imposed two postseason bans in response to the investigation. The Hurricanes would have played in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game this past season, meaning they could have qualified for the Discover Orange Bowl. ACC commissioner John Swofford on Thursday lauded the way Miami has cooperated with the NCAA throughout the inquiry. "Miami's cooperation throughout this process should be commended," Swofford said. "They've been forthright and diligent in their efforts to fully cooperate with the NCAA. While it's unfortunate and extremely concerning that this has transpired, we respect the actions taken by President Emmert to launch an external review of the enforcement process." Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
I don't know what it's all about and I find this very suspicious. And I'm starting to believe (the NCAA wants to) intentionally botch this investigation for reasons I can only imagine are monetary.” -- Maria Elena Perez, Nevin Shapiro's attorney, to the South Florida Sun Sentinel