In what can only be described as a sense of urgency the NCAA allowed itself to be interviewed by L.A. Times about why it is taking so long to get both the Bush and Mayo situations headed to form of resolution.
The Bush investigation has stretched past two years and the Mayo case, launched in May, could extend into 2009, reviving questions about the NCAA's ability and even willingness to police its member schools.
Mindful of such criticisms, Price and several of his 29 investigators recently agreed to address -- in general terms -- how they respond to potential violations
Part of the problem is that the NCAA has no subpoena power. They have no authority to compel a former Student-Athlete to testify, yet without all the information they can pass judgment and punish an institution with nary a hint of due process. The bigger problem is that because they can pass down judgment with little to no due process and that can make for some interesting allegations.
The NCAA also has what Price calls "tools of authority," its bylaws requiring cooperation from coaches, administrators and athletes still on the team.
"I'm not going to sit here and tell you that everyone is truthful with us," Price said. "But if they lie, they do so at considerable risk.
An unethical conduct charge could render an athlete ineligible or cost a coach his job.
With these "tools," and a subsequent committee hearing not bound by law, some say the NCAA wields too much power.
"They do not have to give you any of the due process rights guaranteed under the Constitution," said Thomas Gallion, an attorney who represented two Alabama football assistants in a 2002 case.
"You have someone who can put a college program out of business and ruin a coach," Gallion said. "You can understand that every coach, every administration lives in fear of them."
Nobody really knows what motivates a person. The case of Louis Johnson is to me is a better example of that than Lloyd Lake. Johnson claimed he was only coming forward to protect O.J. because he didn’t want to see O.J. harmed further by the hangers-on that allegedly got him into this mess.
What doesn’t wash with me is that Johnson only came forward after he was booted from the gravy train not while he was on it. Johnson coming forward actually hurt OJ more in the level of scrutiny that Mayo will receive, the potential in lost endorsements and the damage to his reputation so I’m not buying into Johnson’s benevolence.
More to the point...
The Bush and Mayo cases epitomize an increasingly common situation, the NCAA chasing after marketers, financial consultants and runners, the shadowy figures who represent sports agents. This isn't like a coach handing over cash. These people operate on the fringe of college sports, where NCAA investigators have no subpoena power and no legal recourse against those who might lie.
The term “Lack of Institutional Control” gets thrown around like dollar bills at a strip club while having a loose definition. What an institution should or shouldn’t know really is going to be the crux of the matter. As we have said before and institution can't know everything it's players do so how are they going to know if their family is committing an infraction, especially if the infraction is taking place far away of the watchful eyes of the institution. The NCAA is powerless to address these incidents, they won't fight for new legislation anymore than they will fight to have existing laws enforced.
This article is nothing more than the NCAA telling us what we already know, that they don't have enough information to move forward and moving forward without all the info, especially if they are wrong, further damages their authority.
There is nothing really new here, outside of little more gamesmanship from Lake's attorney. It's more like the classic case of C.Y.A.