Now this is how you violate NCAA rules:
The notice contains allegations of violation of NCAA bylaws including:
• Allegations against former assistant coach John Blake:
- unethical conduct for providing false and misleading information to the NCAA enforcement staff and to the institution and for failure to cooperate with the investigation.
- marketed athletic abilities of student-athletes to agent Gary Wichard
- received outside income that he did not report to the institution
• Allegations against alumna Jennifer Wiley:
- unethical conduct for refusing to provide information to the NCAA enforcement staff and to the institution
- provided extra benefits to student-athletes in the form of travel and parking expenses, and tutoring
• Allegations of academic fraud against student-athletes and the tutor
• Allegations that student-athletes received preferential treatment and accepted impermissible benefits
• Allegations against a former student-athlete for unethical conduct
• Failure by the institution to adequately monitor the conduct of Chris Hawkins, an individual triggering NCAA agent legislation; the social media activity of the football team for a period in 2010; and possible extra benefits to a student-athlete triggered by agent legislation.
It’s all serious stuff, but the most egregious thing there concerns Blake. As Matt Hinton puts it,
… Please stop for a moment to allow the fact to sink in that the NCAA believes a major program was employing an assistant coach who was acting as a runner for an agent. The NFLPA seems to have been suitably convinced of the arrangement between Blake and Wichard, as well, having slapped the latter with a nine-month suspension last December prior to Wichard’s death from cancer.
As Hinton goes on to mention, if what Todd McNair did was wrong, Blake’s actions were off-the-charts bad.
Yet Stewart Mandel believes there’s a decent chance that North Carolina will skate with lesser penalties from the NCAA than Southern Cal did. Why? You can probably guess:
… Blake’s nefarious role in all this (which includes his own unethical conduct charge for withholding information from investigators) is the biggest source of mystery as to how his boss, Davis, managed to avoid the NCAA’s wrath. In a document outlining its Principles of Institutional Control, one of the acts the Committee cites as “likely to demonstrate lack of institutional control” is if “A head coach … fails to monitor the activities of assistant coaches regarding compliance.” But it then follows that up with: ” … the head coach cannot be charged with the secretive activities of an assistant bent on violating NCAA rules.” Apparently the school did a bang-up job portraying Blake as just such a character, absolving Davis and the school for failing to uncover his secret employer.
Granted, he’s got a point. UNC didn’t get slapped with a Lack of Institutional Control charge but the slightly lesser Failure to Monitor. (And if this isn’t a case that justifies ending the distinction between the two, I’m hard-pressed to think of a situation that would.) I’m rather gobsmacked that the NCAA bought the argument that Davis knew nothing about what Blake, a man with whom he shared a long-standing relationship, was up to, but there you go. On the other hand, go back to something Hinton wrote.
… If you’ve been following this case from the beginning, none of those charges are new. But it is eye-opening to see all of them exhaustively detailed in one place for the first time, and there is no escaping the conclusion that the Tar Heels are going to feel the maximum, USC-level pain in response — up to and including a postseason ban and heavy scholarship losses. Institutionally, North Carolina worked hard to distance itself from the worst offenders ingratiate itself as a collaborator in justice when it became aware of the violations, but if the NCAA can’t throw the book at a school that employed an assistant coach it accuses of acting as a runner for an NFL agent, it might as well ditch the rulebook and badges and rename itself the “Basketball Tournament Deposit Association.”
Amen to that. There’s just too much there for Davis’ professed ignorance to make a profound difference. At least I hope so. Otherwise, for defensive purposes, we can expect a quantum leap in institutional cluelessness – to a level that would match Mark Emmert’s, it would seem.