Last month, the NCAA revealed an issue of misconduct in its investigation of Miami’s athletics program. According to Dennis Dodd of CBSSports, that improper conduct involved NCAA vice president of enforcement, Julie Roe Lach, approving a payment in the neighborhood of at least $20,000 to Maria Elena Perez, the attorney of former Hurricanes booster Nevin Shapiro, for information related to the NCAA’s investigation.
In Dec., 2011, Perez conducted interviews in a bankruptcy case involving Shapiro where she also reportedly asked questions on the NCAA’s behalf.
In a separate report, Dodd writes that the NCAA made Miami aware of its relationship with Perez about a week before it released its statement on the misconduct.
On at least one occasion last month, NCAA enforcement official LuAnn Humphrey read from a prepared statement over the phone to a person involved in the case describing the relationship with Perez. Humphrey did not take questions on the situation.
“That’s how they notified they had an issue,” said a source familiar with the NCAA’s notification process. “They called a meeting with each involved party and basically said, ‘We want to let you know we’ve discovered this issue.’ They read a statement and said, ‘If you have any questions, call [NCAA’s general counsel] Donald Remy.’”
The report goes on to state that Humphrey said the “NCAA was going to claim it had an attorney-client privilege with Perez,” which could result in her being unable to speak publicly about her relationship with the NCAA.
The NCAA is currently conducting an external review of its missteps, the results of which should be released in short order.
Shapiro, who is currently serving a prison sentence for his involvement in a Ponzi scheme, told Yahoo! Sports two years ago he had provided impermissible benefits to UM athletes. The NCAA was reportedly close to serving UM with a Notice of Allegations before the misconduct became public.