Just hours after NCAA president Mark Emmert announced that his organization still planned to investigate Miami for possible violations, university president Donna Shalala is fighting back.
Shalala issued a statement via the school’s website this evening stating that Miami has fulfilled its imposed sanctions and demanding that the NCAA step down.
The University takes full responsibility for the conduct of its employees and student-athletes. Where the evidence of NCAA violations has been substantiated, we have self-imposed appropriate sanctions, including unilaterally eliminating once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for our students and coaches over the past two years, and disciplining and withholding players from competition.
"We believe strongly in the principles and values of fairness and due process. However, we have been wronged in this investigation, and we believe that this process must come to a swift resolution, which includes no additional punitive measures beyond those already self-imposed.
Earlier in the day, Emmert held a conference call with media acknowledging various missteps and errors during the initial investigation of Miami, including the possession of tainted information. But Emmert said despite the acknowledgement of mistakes, the NCAA planned to continue its inquiry of Miami and disregard any information that might have been illegally obtained.
That logic doesn’t fly with Shalala and it shouldn't.
Emmert and the NCAA's investigative arm can’t unsee what they’ve already seen and trying to detach themselves from that information is just ridiculous.
Miami has already served a self-inflicted two-year probation and scholarship losses in football. Shalala noted that in August 2011, she vowed transparent cooperation with the NCAA.
Now she expects the NCAA to acknowledge Miami's work and bring closure to an already faulty investigation.
"The University of Miami has lived up to those promises, but sadly the NCAA has not lived up to their own core principles. The lengthy and already flawed investigation has demonstrated a disappointing pattern of unprofessional and unethical behavior. By the NCAA leadership's own admission, the University of Miami has suffered from inappropriate practices by NCAA staff. There have also been damaging leaks to the media of unproven charges. Regardless of where blame lies internally with the NCAA, even one individual, one act, one instance of malfeasance both taints the entire process and breaches the public's trust.
"There must be a strong sense of urgency to bring this to closure. Our dedicated staff and coaches, our outstanding student-athletes, and our supporters deserve nothing less."
Make no mistake, Miami is not going to be bullied by the NCAA nor is it going to back down if the NCAA wants to bring sanctions against it. If the NCAA wanted a fight against the University of Miami, it’s got one.