John Blake is a veddy bahd mahn. And Butch Davis is sorry about that.

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.


Filed under ACC Football, The NCAA

7 responses to “John Blake is a veddy bahd mahn. And Butch Davis is sorry about that.

  1. Lrgk9

    The Sgt Schultz Defense !

    Often used by clients in conjunction with the SOD (Some Other Dude) defense


  2. Dog in Fla

    Blindness as plausible deniability works well for Butch

    “When you’ve been in coaching as long as I have, we know the reputation of almost all the coaches that have been around a long time,” Spurrier said Tuesday. “We all have a reputation, especially guys who’ve coached 20 years or so. It’s hard to hide whatever your reputation is.”

    (tosses microphone to mat, climbs through ropes as Jim Ross screams “OH MY GAWD!!!”)


  3. Macallanlover

    Quite a challenge for anyone to match Emmert’s Year 1 “institutional cluelessness”, but I love the term. I cannot fathom why this hasn’t been used to describe our federal government’s ineptness.


    • Dog in Fla

      Don’t leave out state governments. Sure, the federal government’s been having a problem here and there as its been wound-down over the past three decades. But at least before 1980, it was ept


      • Macallanlover

        Agreed all levels of government in this country have significant issues (granted, many due to imposed requirements from the feds) but there actually are some city and state governments that have not lost all touch with reality. Or maybe the just don’t suck on a relative basis. I still think the Feds win hands down, and it has been getting worse exponentially. Deep, deep, doo-doo, imo.


  4. Cojones

    Saw no comparison to OSU when differentiating between “failure to monitor” and “institutional control”. Has another elephant entered the room?
    What is the correlation of punishment when compared to both USC and UNC?
    Is Tressel now viewed as rogue in order for OSU to avoid max? Haven’t read any such remarks by the school.


  5. D

    IMO –

    The last major big-school case prior to USC was Alabama. The NCAA blew kisses to Alabama’s compliance department’s cooperation. The man heading that effort ended up running the COI. Lesson — cooperation just hastens the blow, rather than mitigating it.

    So what did USC do? Surprise — no cooperation. USC’s penalties were considered excessively harsh in some quarters, given the infractions. But anyone reading between the lines saw an NCAA irritated with a school convinced that there was no reward in a real compliance effort. Lesson — cooperate.

    Which makes the UNC and OSU cases quite interesting. UNC suspended anyone and everyone they thought might have an eligibility issue. They confiscated player cell phones (apparently legal, which I find amazing). The NC SBI even issues subpoenas, although I don’t think UNC should get credit for that.

    So this will be interesting. To cooperate or not to cooperate – that is the question.