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Is the NCAA is out of their minds?

While the world awaits the NCAA's ruling against USC with baited breath. We get to see little bit more as to just how this "organization" operates. Without dragging the whole story out again one of the main questions is whether or not USC should have known what was going on at least in regards to the Bush mess. That gets tricky and I have said before that I have trouble with the potential invasion of privacy in determining just how far an institution should go in monitoring the parents or relatives of their players? Even where there is some potential smoke it becomes a slippery slope in trying to get all the information.

The NCAA as has been stated numerous time that they have no subpoena power to the point that it sounds like they are using it as a crutch as this investigation plods along. Bush isn't talking and neither will Mayo so they should put their cards on the table and show us their hand.

But now the NCAA is upping the ante...they are now making a request that is out of this world in regards to former USC commit Renardo Sidney...

Jackson said the NCAA has requested to review the family's bank accounts for the past four years.
"We are in the process of telling them they're out of their minds," he said.

Now I saw this a few days ago and I shook my head in disgust this was exactly what I was worried could happen. Sure they only asked for the bank records but if they say "no bank records, no admission" then isn't that some kind of extortion?

Jackson adds a little more here.

"I've been involved in amateurism cases going back years, and I've never had a request of that nature made," Jackson said. "They're not entitled to them unless they can establish some kind of authority in NCAA legislation or some kind of precedent of this having happened previously."

Like I said, I saw it a few days ago and contemplated using it elsewhere but I didn't. Then I saw this interesting article today.

The NCAA on Tuesday posted the Committee on Infractions' response on a secure NCAA custodial Web site that allows the document to be read only and not downloaded or printed out. The response -- the next step in a process that's far from over -- could only be accessed by FSU's outside counsel.

[I]n an interview with FanHouse Wednesday night, Barbara A. Petersen, president of The First Amendment Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Tallahassee, Fla., said FSU is in violation of Florida's public records law by refusing to release the response from the Committee on Infractions.

"The problem is this -- the NCAA has basically put Florida State between a rock and a hard place," said Petersen, the foundation's president since 1995 and a graduate of the University of Missouri and Florida State University College of Law. "It doesn't matter what the NCAA says. That's why I say they kind of put FSU between a rock and a hard place -- they are damned if they do and damned if they don't.

"It's pretty unique I will say that," Petersen said of the NCAA's method of response, one that only fuels the organizations' reputation that it operates in a suspect and secretive manner.

Really? Are these guys nuts?!

Why they would even go down that road is beyond me. This is the sort of thing that tends to piss off lawmakers who in turn start dragging people in front of sub-commitee hearings. If the NCAA doesn't want the government sniffing around and rattling their swords about taking away the NCAA's tax exempt status they might want to to take a second look about how how they conduct their investigations and how they go about gathering information.

They are not the all powerful OZ. Sure, they can make life miserable for programs under the microscope but that too comes with a price...hammer a school too hard and they will face a lawsuit. That is the funny thing about the NCAA, if you hit them hard enough in the mouth when they least expect it they will back down. Their so-called investigators tend to wilt under pressure when little things like unlawful search and seizures and invasion of privacy claims become part of a counter suit.

No one is denying that the NCAA is in a tough spot trying to keep the sports clean from rule breakers but they cause a lot of their own grief by doing stupid things like asking for bank records.

Like I said...are they out of their minds?