NCAA admits 'missteps' in Miami case

BY foxsports • February 18, 2013

The NCAA said that the information it collected as part of the Miami investigation through depositions performed as part of a former booster's bankruptcy proceedings will not be part of the case against the Hurricanes.

However, the NCAA said the case against Miami will proceed ''with information properly obtained by the enforcement staff.''

The NCAA released the results of an external probe of how it investigated the Hurricanes on Monday, nearly a month after revealing what it called ''a very severe issue of improper conduct.'' That issue was that the attorney for former booster and convicted Ponzi scheme architect Nevin Shapiro was used to improperly obtain information.

The NCAA said missteps were made. Miami had no immediate comment.

And now that this step is complete, the path is clear - again - for Miami to finally receive its notice of allegations from the nearly 2-year-old investigation into what rules were broken within athletics. Shapiro said he provided dozens of athletes, coaches and recruits with impermissible benefits for several years, starting in 2002. Shapiro is now serving a 20-year federal prison sentence for his Ponzi scheme, which bilked investors of about $930 million.

The report the NCAA released Monday said Shapiro's attorney, Maria Elena Perez, billed the NCAA for $57,115 worth of work performed from October 2011 through July 2012. The NCAA said it paid about $18,000.

One of the people Perez deposed, former Miami equipment room staffer Sean Allen, said he was not contacted during the NCAA's external probe. Allen provided some testimony that could have damaged Miami, but since the NCAA does not have subpoena power, what he said in that deposition to Perez should never have been part of the case against the Hurricanes.

A transcript of Allen's deposition shows that much of his deposition involved Perez asking questions about Miami athletics, matters which would not have seemed directly involved to Shapiro's bankruptcy case.

The NCAA said Perez offered to use depositions and subpoena power to assist with the case against Miami. The NCAA also said Perez was willing to ask any questions they wanted, but that the enforcement staff was urged by the governing body's legal team not to go forward with the plan to collaborate with Perez.

''We found very clearly the enforcement staff disregarded ... the advice they got from the legal staff,'' said Kenneth L. Wainstein, the attorney who led the probe that NCAA President Mark Emmert ordered last month.

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