University of Miami President Donna Shalala has had about enough of the NCAA's BS. Following today's release of the NCAA findings of its own investigation into itself, Shalala released a strongly worded statement demanding that the NCAA basically stop screwing around, put an end to the two-and-half-year investigation, and, oh yeah, levy no further punishments against the school.
Here's Shalala statement:
"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.
"In September 2010 -- two and a half years ago -- the University of Miami advised the NCAA of allegations made by a convicted felon against former players and, at that time, we pledged our full cooperation with any investigation into the matter. One year later, in August 2011, when the NCAA's investigation into alleged rules violations was made public, I pledged we would 'vigorously pursue the truth, wherever that path may lead' and insisted upon 'complete, honest, and transparent cooperation with the NCAA from our staff and students.'
"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."
This is a pretty strong stance for Shalala, but not at all unreasonable. This is a woman who served eight years on Bill Clinton's cabinet and really isn't here for bumbling, inept witch hunts.
The football program has voluntarily sat out three postseason games and held back a number of athletic scholarships it would have otherwise offered. The looming threat of further punishments has also done an immeasurable amount of damage on both recruiting and the team's brand and morale. Additional reprimands would only punish both staff members and student athletes who had nothing to do with the infractions.
While Shalala has helped the school reach new heights academically, she hasn't exactly been a favorite among Canes sports fans, but with this statement, she speaks for all UM fans who would simply like to know when this whole ordeal will be over.
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