But they meant well.

Wouldn’t this be one mother of a hoisted petard?

But the Redmond letter could complicate the NCAA’s investigatory efforts. For starters, Nassar’s victims who are already suing Michigan State and USA Gymnastics might seek to add the NCAA as a co-defendant. The victims could cite article 2.2 of the NCAA’s constitution—the same article that the NCAA has warned Michigan State about. The article makes clear that “intercollegiate athletics programs shall be conducted in a manner designed to protect and enhance the physical and educational well-being of student-athletes.” It would seem this language ought to bind the NCAA as much as it binds the schools the NCAA oversees. It certainly wouldn’t be a stretch for lawyers representing the victims to raise this type of argument.

If the NCAA becomes a co-defendant, it would be awkward, at a minimum, for the NCAA to investigate a fellow co-defendant, whose interests are not all aligned with the NCAA. Michigan State and the NCAA could seek to blame the other, along with USA Gymnastics, for any institutional liability for Nassar’s crimes. Under these circumstances, it’s hard to imagine how the NCAA could credibly conduct an investigation into Michigan State. A court might be asked to review such a topic.

Given the NCAA’s litigation track record, it would be an act of malpractice for anyone retained as plaintiff’s counsel not to consider in a serious way bringing the organization in as a defendant.  The Mark Emmert deposition alone would be worth it.

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20 Comments

Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

20 responses to “But they meant well.

  1. sniffer

    On topic, barely. Why did any of the parties involved protect Nasser? Why? He couldn’t heal with a single touch. This wasn’t Bernie Madoff making people rich (on paper). He was just a staff doctor. I get that after a point in time all the institutions were fearful of what would happen but not at first.

    How does MSU pay all the claims? When this is over, are the taxpayers of Michigan left holding the note or does this come out of the university’s trust?

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    • I assume the trust/foundation is a separate legal entity from the university itself. I doubt the plaintiffs can get at those funds. Just my opinion. The university and the state will settle quietly when they are sued.

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    • Macallanlover

      This is where I part from the mob, monetary penalties (grossly large amounts) isn’t going to change the behavior, or damage, done. That solution is all about the lawyers and people who dream of windfalls. Put Nasser, and those who deliberately participated in a cover up that allowed his actions to continue and harm others, in a real prison (defined as not the relative country clubs prisons have become.)

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      • Former Fan

        That monetary penalty would make a huge difference to a private corporation and would most certainly change the culture. The owner(s) would see to it. However, with government run entities, it is a wholely different matter.

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      • 92 grad

        I agree with you. Unfortunately, I’m sure there are a lot of legal arguments that equate justice with money. It doesn’t feel right to me either. To the senators post though, maybe bringing in the NCAA is about access to money for damages/settlements.

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        • Macallanlover

          And I am not against payments for damages that are for tangible medical bills, property losses, etc. It is the outrageous use of large payouts designed to pay for the guilt that bother me, and accomplish little as a deterrent. Make the punishment so rough others will not follow.

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      • The other Doug

        A big loss of money for MSU will cause McGarrity to put in place real safeguards for the student athletes. You know, the reserve fund.

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  2. Mick Jagger

    Any possible way to tie former MSU coach Nick Saban to this?

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  3. John

    I have zero love for the NCAA but I’m confused as to how Nasser’s victims could bring claims against the NCAA in this case. It seems like the language quoted in the article is a directive from the NCAA to member schools as to how they should conduct operations.

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    • The 984

      The plaintiffs would probably argue third party beneficiary status. They would say a contract existed between the NCAA and MSU (The bylaws) and that this clause wasn’t just a directive to member schools but was instead the creation of a duty owned to third parties. Gut reaction, I think it’s very weak here. But that’s what the argument would be, I think.

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  4. Debby Balcer

    The defendants will need monetary benefits to cover the life long therapy they will need. Victims of sexual assault are forever changed. I also do not understand why anyone would have covered up for him. He must have been a consummate actor to get away with it the first time it was reported but as many victims as reported him should have caused real investigations much earlier. It is heartbreaking.

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  5. 69Dawg

    Punitive damages work great against entities you can’t throw in jail. Hell if the plaintiffs’ attorneys don’t sue everybody involved they are committing malpractice. MSU, The B1G, The NCAA, and any individual that knew and is given a pass criminally by prosecutors should get sued. Yes I’m a lawyer but I’ve never sued anybody (Tax Law).

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    • Macallanlover

      The institution didn’t commit a crime, those in positions of responsibility did. Cover ups, lies, obstructions, not reporting illegal acts, etc., aren’t civil violations, they are criminal acts. Make the prisons tougher, put the soft little managers with big titles in prison. It is tougher than writing a check, and their replacements will begin to follow the rules.

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