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NCAA internall investigation puts brakes on Miami case

The SportsXchange

The NCAA is putting its case against the University of Miami on hold while it reviews possible improper conduct within its own organization during its investigation.

The NCAA said in a release on Wednesday that former enforcement staff members worked with the criminal defense attorney for Nevin Shapiro, a former Miami booster at the center of a 2011 Yahoo Sports report that claimed 72 athletes received extra benefits, to improperly obtain information through a bankruptcy proceeding that did not involve the NCAA.

"I have been vocal in the past regarding the need for integrity by NCAA member schools, athletics administrators, coaches, and student-athletes," NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a release. "That same commitment to integrity applies to all of us in the NCAA national office."

The NCAA will launch its own comprehensive investigation led by Kenneth L. Wainstein, a partner in a New York law firm and a former Homeland Security adviser to Presdident George W. Bush. The review will include the Miami issue and a compresensive review of the NCAA's overall enforcement practices.

"To say the least, I am angered and saddened by this situation," Emmert said. "Trust and credibility are essential to our regulatory tasks. My intent is to ensure our investigatory functions operate with integrity and are fair and consistent with our member schools, athletics staff and most importantly our student-athletes.

"Upon receipt of Mr. Wainstein's findings, I will take further steps as needed to assure accountability for any improper conduct."

The NCAA announced that it will not move forward with a Notice of Allegations against Miami "until all the facts surrounding this issue are known."

According to reports, the NCAA had been contacting individuals named in the allegations and that the Notice of Allegations could have come within the next two weeks.

"If there is any information that was obtained improperly absoltutley it would be thrown out," Emmert said after the announcement.

Miami already imposed self-imposed sanctions that included a two-year postseason bowl ban for its football program.

It's uncertain what the NCAA's self-investigation could mean for former Miami coaches such as Missouri basketball coach Frank Haith and current Louisville assistant head football coach Clint Hurtt.

"The NCAA Executive Committee expects the enforcement program to operate within approved procedures and with the highest integrity. Although we are deeply disappointed in this turn of events, we strongly support the actions President Emmert is taking to address the problem," said Lou Anna K. Simon, executive committee chair and Michigan State president.
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