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Thread: The NCAA. Is. Pissed. (7/25/2017 Edition) (10/13/2017 Update: J/K. We cool.)

  1. #1

    Exclamation The NCAA. Is. Pissed. (7/25/2017 Edition) (10/13/2017 Update: J/K. We cool.)

    As I did last time a document drop came out, I wanted to save you guys some boring reading and extract some of the juicier parts of the NCAA's response to Carolina.

    Just a brief summary of where we are at:
    1. The NCAA releases a NOA with five level 1 infractions including the dreaded loss of institutional control (LOIC). Major sports programs are listed as references to the initial document.
    2. Additional research and investigation provides more evidence of wrongdoing.
    3. The NCAA releases an amended NOA still maintaining five level 1 infractions but inexplicably removing mention of major athletic programs (men's basketball and football). This results in much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the 'anyone but Carolina' (ABC) crowd.
    4. UNC decides to 'relieve themselves in the face of the NCAA' by responding to the much less severe amended NOA by suggesting the NCAA doesn't have jurisdiction in the scandal.
    5. The NCAA releases a second amended NOA which reasserts their jurisdiction and adds explicit references to men's basketball and football.
    6. UNC responded to the NCAA by doubling down that the NCAA has no authority in this area.
    7. The NCAA responds to UNC's response with the document we are discussing today.

    Spoiler Alert: The NCAA. Is. Pissed.

    Keep the 'Main Thing' the 'Main Thing'

    It is important to be clear what this case is about. This case is about facts that are almost entirely undisputed. It is about straightforward application of those facts to well-known bylaws adopted by NCAA members.
    The document starts by asserting what the case at hand is about and what it isn't about. This is important because everything UNC is claiming the NCAA doesn't control, for the most part, are things that the NCAA agrees with. The opening paragraph states, under no certain terms, that there are very clear-cut aspects of impermissible benefits being offered to student athletes and that this is clearly within scope of the NCAA's jurisdiction.

    The NCAA isn't on trial here

    Also, this case is not about the enforcement staff or the infractions process. The institution invests considerable energy criticizing both. [...] Accordingly, this written reply will address the merits of serious allegations, rather than inflammatory distractions or exhausted procedural arguments found in the institution's materials.
    The NCAA is probably the most aggravated at UNC questioning their existence and their processes. When you're getting a speeding ticket, that isn't the right time to question highway traffic laws. The NCAA very clearly articulates that they are tired of UNC's legal maneuvers to escape the process and that this is in no way a defense against the accusations at hand.

    It's definitely our business

    Before discussing individual allegations, it is important to address the threshold question of whether anything in this case is the NCAA's business. The institution says no and can only reach that position by rejecting large portions of an exhaustive external inquiry, discounting information provided by its own representatives, relying on its own tailored summaries drafted for its regional accrediting agency and attributing inaccurate positions or motives to the enforcement staff. The institution's desired outcome is not unexpected, but its analysis is materially flawed.
    Basically, you're lying.

    The issues at the heart of this case are clearly the NCAA's business. When a member institution allows an academic department to provide benefits to student-athletes that are materially different from the general student body, it is the NCAA's business. When athletics academic counselors exploit "special arrangement" classes for student-athletes in ways unintended by and contrary to the bylaws, it is the NCAA's business. When a member institution provides student-athletes an inside track to enroll in unpublicized courses where grades of As and Bs are the norm,1 it is the NCAA's business. When a member institution uses "special arrangement" courses to keep a significant number of student-athletes eligible, it is the NCAA's business. When a member institution fails or refuses to take action after receiving actual notice of problems involving student-athletes, thereby allowing violations to compound and to continue for years, it is the NCAA's business. In sum, it is an NCAA matter when other member schools who choose not to provide impermissible benefits are disadvantaged by their commitment to compliance.
    It's important to note that this tone is not the typical overly professional discussion we're used to seeing in many NCAA reports. What UNC did is not typical and it's not what others have done. UNC questioned the fundamental purpose of the NCAA which is like cornering a wild animal in a corner. You can criticize the effectiveness or corruption of the NCAA all you want, but if you think the NCAA is going to do nothing about this situation, then you have to be ready to argue that the NCAA is suicidal.

    We tried offering you a bone and you didn't take it

    Indeed, the current allegations are substantially similar to those contained in the original notice of allegations issued May 20, 2015.
    I've been covering this story and began blogging about it back in 2010/2011, so I'd like to think I've gotten fairly good at gauging the back-and-forth between UNC and the NCAA. When the amended NOA came out and removed a lot of the worst language from the previous NOA, I made a comment that this appeared to be the NCAA throwing UNC a bone so that they could reach a mutually agreeable ending, with both institutions saving some face, and both parties could move on. UNC didn't take the plea bargain so now the NCAA is making them pay.

    A couple people thought that interpretation was insane and probably still do. However, this excerpt from the NCAA's response does seem to somewhat support my theory. The NCAA states that the current NOA essentially mimics what was in the initial NOA. This begs the question why the NCAA sent out the first amended NOA if they ended up where they started. An answer that isn't proven but certainly explains things: the NCAA was throwing UNC a bone and UNC didn't take it.

    Bad move.

    Carolina is getting nailed for their delay-of-game

    I won't quote the entire timeline section (Section II), but essentially the NCAA places all the blame on Carolina for sitting here in 2017 without a resolution. Their statement says, "The case could have concluded in 2015 but was delayeed because of untimely disclosure of more than one million emails by the institution, disclosure of additional violations by the institution and untimely engagement by Crowder."

    This is important to note because many of us have been screaming about UNC's delay tactics for years. It seems the NCAA is pretty over things, too.

    I should also mention how mortified I am that the NCAA doesn't use the Oxford comma. What barbarians.

    Classes went back to 1999

    On page 6, last paragraph, the NCAA notes that Crowder's control of these classes began in 1999. That isn't quite the massive span of time we were looking for, but it is almost 2 decades so I won't complain.

    Info on the next page notes that 47.4% of enrollees were student-athletes.

    "Novel Assertion"

    Accordingly, under either Cadwalader's calculation or the institution's novel assertion, there was a disproportionately high number of student-athletes enrolled in the courses.
    It's worth noting the tone, here. When the enforcement organization is calling your excuses 'novel', it's not good.

    "Group Enrollment"

    According to page 9, Crowder actually allowed student athletes to 'group enroll' in order to make taking these classes even easier. This is a practice that wasn't permitted for the rest of the student population.

    Cancer = Sports Practice?

    Crowder essentially equated a student caring for a parent with cancer to a student-athlete who needed to attend a team practice.
    Damn.

    The NCAA is highlighting exactly how ridiculous it is to claim that they were treating the student population and student athletes equally by highlighting legitimate circumstances under which 'special arrangements' would normally be made for enrollment and course completion.

    Special classes means an athletic advantage

    On page 14, the NCAA notes something really, really important. The implications of 'fake classes' are not only that they maintain academic eligibility for the athlete, thereby robbing them of an education. In reality, it means that they can spend more time on the practice field than competitors at other schools, thereby giving them a competitive edge of their peers. That is squarely of concern for the NCAA.

    Statute of limitations won't protect you, UNC

    Starting on page 16, the NCAA outlines why statutes of limitations won't protect UNC for some of the cases which seem to go back 10 or more years. In the words of the NCAA, the challenge that the long time period has caused for UNC to self-investigate is "appreciated", but it doesn't constitute a reason to claim that they somehow can't be held responsible.

    This is all just for the introduction and Infraction 1. It's almost midnight and I got to head off of here, but I'll post more later. Take a look at the NCAA's response for yourself. It's priceless.

  2. #2
    Senior Member redfredina's Avatar
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    Wait, V, you don't mean, someone over at the NCAA does actually possess a partial brain, and that over the course of these past 6 idiotically grueling years that they have been strung along like children, that they have somehow managed to grow a set of actual gonads as well? Say it ain't so!!!

    I am not, NOT, I say, going to allow myself to get emotional over any of this until I hear the final word. Of course, and regardless of what The NCAA has to say, we are all well aware that no UNC fan is ever going to admit to any part of it. Nor will they just take their punishment without constantly convincing themselves for the rest of their living days that, "Yeah well, UNC is still the best, because everyone else was doing it too!"

    THANKS A LOT, V! I read the entire link, I agree, it doesn't sound like anyone out in Indianapolis is anywhere near as helplessly enamored as they once were with the disrespect shown to them by their own spoiled and entitled creation over in Chapel Hill. At least, nowas of right now anyway, huh?

    All for show, as in... all BARK, no bite... ???

    No worries though, Roy has 48 big hours, he'll soften them all up with a touching montage of Dean's glory years back when this whole thing first sprouted wings, and UNC reps, the NCAA crew, they will all hug and weep themselves into another huge UNC love fest in no time flat!!! I mean, UNC has absolutely PLAYED them like a cheap set of drums for this incredibly long with all of their legal wranglings, so I am not underestimating the spell that remain$ cast upon the NCAA officials, or anything that they can convince the NCAA to do at thi$ point.
    Last edited by redfredina; 07-26-2017 at 12:19 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Dof87's Avatar
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    That's a nice summary there Virginian, thanks for doing the legwork. I agree that the NCAA was playing nice with UNC after the first delay (which I think wasn't as much of a surprise to the NCAA as they might let on). They seemed to also be doing UNC a favor by avoiding a challenge of the 2005 championship. UNC's actions after that were simple arrogance, they must have felt that the NCAA backed off a bit because they didn't have a case. But unlike courtroom legal battle, the NCAA doesn't need to have courtroom quality evidence to take action and has a lot more leeway in how they proceed. UNC thought they could be clever and try to cast the cheating as some noble cause, but by whitewashing it all with laughable terms they may have actually weakened their defense.

    However, the more things change the more they stay the same. I still think that the NCAA has enough ammo to issue a harsh penalty, but history suggests they'll not go too far. As you said, not enough to satisfy the haters, but more than the lovers think they deserve....that still leaves a very wide window, imo. I could see something like 4 or 5 years of impactful number of scholly losses at the high end (say 3 MBB, 6 FB) of that window, one or two years of a minimal schollys (1 MBB, 3 FB) at the low end. Nothing in between would surprise me, but I think the NCAA would look really impotent at the low end. Also, I didn't talk about non revenue sports, there could a number of penalties there as well.
    Last edited by Dof87; 07-26-2017 at 09:08 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Howler's Avatar
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    Probably a full on bout of diarrhea for Fedora and Williams after assuring recruits for years there wouldn't be any sanctions against their programs.

    Neat.

    H

  5. #5
    Senior Member redfredina's Avatar
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    If I listed all of the impermissible infractions that I am convinced UNC has been unabashedly perpetrating for decades upon decades running, I could fill up about an entire page. (No smart remarks, E) That said, Dof, if you have been reading the same stuff regarding the laundry list of UNC's wrongdoings, and considering the duration as well as the NCAA clearly stating that they had been given fair warning, but those at UNC decided that they were above all of that, and they just pressed on with their standard MO for cheating in the face of the NCAA, I am just wondering... if none of ALL of that warrants the harshest penalties that the NCAA has in their arsenal, well then, what in the hell does???

    I am not arguing, I am just saying... ??? Can someone else please offer an alternative list of NCAA guidelines/rules that the NCAA has sternly punished in the past, that UNC hasn't broken TO THE ABSOLUTE HILT!!! And for DECADES RUNNING??? And CONTINUED DOING IT AFTER THEY/UNC HAD BEEN WARNED BY THE NCAA???

    If anyone wishes to take a stab at it, I'd really love to see that list.

    Yeah, yeah, I know...

    1) Jerry Sandusky

    But I am talking violations that ACTUALLY ARE in the NCAA's wheelhouse though.
    Last edited by redfredina; 07-26-2017 at 04:31 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Dof87's Avatar
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    Oh, I agree RF. Unfortunately the NCAA isn't what it should be.

  7. #7
    Senior Member redfredina's Avatar
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    Yeah, I know, Dof. This is the new and improved, snowflake rearing, version of the NCAA.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Dof87's Avatar
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    Maybe they'll get a reprimand. Those are brutal, just ask Karl Hess.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howler View Post
    Probably a full on bout of diarrhea for Fedora and Williams after assuring recruits for years there wouldn't be any sanctions against their programs.

    Neat.

    H
    For years they've been right.

  10. #10
    Senior Member PackJunky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howler View Post
    Probably a full on bout of diarrhea for Fedora and Williams after assuring recruits for years there wouldn't be any sanctions against their programs.

    Neat.

    H
    Karma is just in the back sharpening her nails and filing her fangs, she'll be right with you...

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