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NCAA Dee-constructed

The NCAA Must Vacate All Penalties Handed Down by Paul Dee, Beginning with USC, and Start Over

by Amerigo Chattin

Amerigo Chattin explains why the NCAA’s best hope of retaining any credibility is to nullify all precedents established by Paul Dee, who presided as Chairman of the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions in flagrant violation of the NCAA’s own By-Law on conflict of interest.

In an era marked by mounting suspicion of NCAA corruption, Paul Dee is the Smoking Gun.

Note: this article originally originally appeared August 26, 2011 on CollegeFootballPundit.com. Paul Dee passed away on May 12, 2012.

How is it possible that the man who pronounced sentence on the football program at the University of Southern California with the now infamous edict – “high profile players demand high profile compliance” – was even permitted by the NCAA to sit on the Infractions Committee (much less Chair it!) in the first place? Given the recent revelations from Ponzi-scheme convict Nevin Sharipo (courtesy of investigative reporter Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports), the Infractions Committee Chairman appears, in retrospect, hopelessly compromised, indeed, even technically conflicted. Is it possible that the NCAA can just “move on” and ignore the train wreck Paul Dee left in his wake at the Infractions Committee?


Prominent Miami Hurricanes booster Nevin Shapiro held court during the tenure of former Athletic Director Paul Dee

As we sit here today, Paul Dee is now the epitome of bureaucratic malfeasance, the living embodiment of oversight hypocrisy, and the paradigm case in NCAA corruption. As I Tweeted on Tuesday night, making Paul Dee Chairman of the Infractions Committee is like appointing Al Capone as Attorney General or putting Bernie Madoff in charge of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Dee’s misconduct is not limited to mere hypocrisy; it involves corruption of the very institution the NCAA relies on to ensure justice. Concern about such a corrupting influence may be why the NCAA long ago wrote a By-Law attempting to insulate its Infractions Committee from even the appearance of a conflict.

NCAA By-Law 32.1.3 (“Conflict of Interest”) states, in pertinent part:

Any member of the Committee on Infractions . . . shall neither appear at the hearing or oral argument nor participate on the committee when the member is directly connected with an institution under investigation or has a personal, professional or institutional affiliation that reasonably would result in the appearance of prejudice. It is the responsibility of the committee member or members of the Infractions Appeals Committee per Bylaw 19.2 to remove himself or herself if a conflict exists.

(Emphasis added.)

Did Paul Dee have “a personal, professional or institutional affiliation that reasonably would result in the appearance of prejudice”? In examining that question, simply contrast what Paul Dee has said in the past while serving as Chairman of the Infractions Committee about institutional failures at “NCAA compliance” with what he saying now about what should have been expected under his watch as Athletic Director at the University of Miami:

Dee Then Dee Now
The Trojans “should have known” about Reggie Bush’s family violations 130 miles from campus. “We did all the things we thought were appropriate,” Dee said. “But the things you can control are the things you have your hands on — like grades, discipline on campus, financial aid. But when you get further out, when you get to a booster who has decided to do something inappropriate, you have less control, because they are out in the environment and we’re not there.”
While investigating Long Beach State for violations involving a single basketball player, Long Beach State President F. King Alexander reports that Dee lectured the university in a most condescending manner. According to Alexander, Dee told them, “You have to put in place the kind of institutional control we have at Miami.” Although Dee maintains that Long Beach State should have known about the actions of one player for a single event, he now contends Miami compliance should not have known about the actions of 72 players, over nine years with a booster he personally had school employees escort to practices, who road on team planes, who led the team onto the field, and who was honored by Dee himself at halftime of a football game.
Dee famously told the press, “High profile athletes demand high profile compliance.” Dee told the Palm Beach Post, “We didn’t have any suspicion that [Nevin Shapiro] was doing anything like this. He didn’t do anything to cause concern.”
On why the committee decided on two years for the bowl ban: “It was the number of bowl games that the individual participated in.” Presumably Dee will not contend that Miami suffer a nine year bowl ban

.

If all that, against the backdrop of By-Law 3.1.3, and coupled with what we now know about the Miami program under Paul Dee’s supervision until 2008, is not enough to convince you, perhaps you should read on.

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