The NCAA employs 25 investigators. Do you know how many of them work as full-time NCAA investigators? The answer is THREE. That’s right, they only employ 3 full-time investigators with 22 part timers to police every school in the NCAA. Miles Brand’s great bastion of college athletics is behind the times in a big way.
Armen Keteyian of HOFMag.com enlightens us:
So the fact that Michael Michaels, an investor in New Era, was reportedly attempting to steer [Reggie] Bush to a San Diego agent by the name of David Caravantes, is straight from the Casablanca school of news. So is the fact reporters broke the story and not the NCAA. Because in the Real World, the NCAA, for all its talk of insuring a “means of accountability” and “integrity and fair play among its members,” is so outgunned in these matters it’s not even funny. Or maybe it is. You know how many full-time investigators the gumshoes from Indianapolis have to police issues involving renegade agents? Three. As in One, Two…That’s not enough to cover the MAC let alone the Pac-10.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve known the heads of Enforcement for years, from David Berst to David Price, and they try. But how much can a total of 25 investigators, mostly lawyers and ex-jocks, really do when it comes to more than 325 Division I programs and the personal lives of thousands of student-athletes and their families? The system is so sophisticated now, so discreet, the corruption so enveloping, as to be opaque. The only way news like L’affaire Bush ever surfaces now is when estranged business associates (Ornstein) or losers (Michaels and New Era) seek retribution or revenge, and intrepid reporters like Charles Robinson and Jason Cole are given the time and resources needed to investigate such allegations and connect the dots.
So how can the NCAA justify focusing on schools like Alabama and Oklahoma while there are many different opportunities possibly being missed? Well, they probably can’t behind closed doors. But, in my opinion, there is a possible answer no one seems to be discussing. The NCAA wants to rule by setting examples, hoping to shock everyone into submission.
Take the Albert Means situation. Had there not been a secret witness dressed in bright butterscotch orange, Alabama may have skated on to freedom (not counting Spurrier’s letter that is). But, once they were provided with what they deemed reasonable evidence and testimony, the allegations were too egregious to ignore.
Let’s face it, we did deserve to be caught after trying to pull off such a huge bribe. But, my biggest beef has always been what I see as the cherry picking of provable cases by the NCAA. If they feel that they cannot prove it from an initial glimpse, or don’t receive enough evidence, then they will honestly just hope for it to disappear, ala Bush and Michael Michaels. The same could be said about the Oklahoma situation as well.
They spent the many years after SMU covering their eyes and ears, pretending that they have done enough after forcing the only death penalty to date; look at them now. They’ve fallen so far behind they may never recover, so they simply pick and choose in order to appear that they are actually making a real difference. This way they can give those who wish to see the rules being enforced a bone every once in a while in order to calm the masses.
This could very well be the biggest period of cheating college athletics has ever witnessed. Just pray that we never have to be an example ever again.
So please leave a response and tell me if you think the NCAA and their investigation methods are still relevant and effective.