August 22, 2011
USC football isn't Southern California's only program brimming with contempt for former Miami athletic director Paul Dee.
Long Beach State president F. King Alexander recently made it clear that he too resents that the NCAA infractions committee chairman who punished the 49ers in 2008 is now connected to one of the ugliest extra benefits scandals in the history of college athletics.
In an interview with the Long Beach Press-Telegram last week, Alexander recalled Dee's condescending tone during a 2007 hearing regarding men's basketball violations the school had self-reported. The violations mainly stemmed from Long Beach State coaches paying for summer school courses and providing impermissible tutoring for six junior college transfers in an effort to get them academically eligible for Division I college basketball.
"Dee told us, `You have to put in place the kind of institutional control we have at Miami,'" Alexander told The Press-Telegram. "And one of the other members of the NCAA Infractions Committee in that hearing was from Nebraska. On that same day, six Nebraska athletes were arrested for illegally selling sporting apparel.
"The hypocrisy of the NCAA makes me sick. To allow institutions like Miami and Nebraska to chair and oversee its infractions committee is like putting foxes in charge of the henhouse."
It's easy to understand Alexander's frustration in light of the long list of potential major violations to emerge from a Yahoo! Sports investigation into the Miami athletic department while Dee was athletic director. Nonetheless, it should also be noted that the punishment Long Beach State received in 2008 appears to have been fair given the actions of its former coaching staff.
The NCAA ultimately found Long Beach State guilty of committing major and secondary violations, leading to three years probation, a reduction in scholarships and a failure-to-monitor charge for the institution and former coach Larry Reynolds. Two of Reynolds' assistants also received show-cause penalties for lying to NCAA officials and attempting to cover up their actions during the ensuing investigation.
Alexander relayed one more story to the Press-Telegram that isn't exactly flattering to Dee.
"You must understand that in 2005 when I was president at Murray State, I fired our football coach, Joe Pannunzio, because of numerous incidents that occurred in our program under him that were quite bad," he said. "Well, Pannunzio immediately was hired by Miami, and he's one of the coaches who's been prominently mentioned by Shapiro in the current scandal. He's now the head of football operations at Alabama."