“It was a managerial error.”

Just when you thought they couldn’t be any bigger assholes than they are, the NCAA spent more than $400 million it had in savings — money that sure would have come in handy about now — because it was concerned “… about rising unrest among college athletes over amateurism rules.”

“With that in mind, the association built up nearly $500 million in reserves from 2004 to 2014. The NCAA also purchased insurance that would cover roughly one-third of the tournament’s annual revenue. With the insurance and the reserves, these employees said, NCAA leaders thought they could absorb the hit of a lost tournament with only minimal cuts to expenses.

“But in 2015, as the NCAA and the wealthier football conferences felt rising pressure from antitrust lawsuits filed by thousands of current and former athletes, Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick was among some college sports power brokers who argued the cash reserves were enticing lawyers to sue, former NCAA employees said.

“Jack said: ‘You’re just inviting lawsuits. You create a pile of money; plaintiffs’ lawyers come after it,’ ” one former NCAA employee said.

Of course, Swarbrick now denies he said that.  In fact, nobody wants to take credit.

“Another former NCAA employee said this theory came from the association’s new legal team, headed by Remy.

“They thought it was bait. … My thought all along is that’s bulls—,” the former employee said. “Any organization that makes more than $1 billion every year is always going to be a target for lawsuits. … Another half a billion in reserves isn’t going to make a difference.”

“Remy declined to answer whether he or NCAA lawyers agreed with Swarbrick’s theory.

“I agree it was a narrative that was out there,” Remy said. “The decision to draw down on the reserves was made for a variety of reasons.”

If there’s any justice, somebody will get sued for that.

8 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

8 responses to ““It was a managerial error.”

  1. Mayor

    Sounds exactly like Donald Remy to me.

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  2. The Georgia Way

    Rest assured, there’s nothing to see here.

    #COMMITTOTHEG

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  3. Normaltown Mike

    Wait, I thought reserve funds were bad?

    Confused

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  4. SSB Charley

    Not the first time I’ve heard something like that. Used to be on the board of trustees for my fraternity, and when I learned that there was only a $100K policy for any particular chapter provided by the National, it was justified as “they don’t want to have a big pot of insurance out there sitting as a target.” Instead, you want your members to face uninsured liability, potential excess judgments, and bankruptcy, despite paying dues to your organization.

    People will use the threat of big judgments as an excuse for just about anything. In my experience, rarely has a large pool of insurance subjected someone to a baseless lawsuit. I think the same applies here. Schools weren’t concerned that the reserve was a target. They were concerned that there was money that they could be spending that wasn’t getting spent.

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  5. Macallanlover

    Jack Swarbrick ain’t wrong, those TV lawyers don’t put much effort into the case if they don’t get a strong smell of money on the initial whiff. But you don’t have to do nuttin’ wrong if it gets out that you have access to heaps of money in your account…and it doesn’t matter if it is “reserved” or not. Be swarming like ants coming out of a kicked anthill.

    Reminds me of Richard Pryor’s great line on a certain 1970s comedy album: “Boy, don’t go messing ’round down there among them Jews with no money in your pocket.” Couldn’t publish an album these days with his material without getting sued, or causing a riot in the comedy club.

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