Report: NCAA revealed misconduct to Miami prior to going public


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 Lachapproving 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.

From Dodd:

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.

Former Texas A&M WR Thomas Johnson arrested on murder charge

Thomas Johnson
Associated Press

A very disturbing story has emerged out of Dallas, where former Texas A&M wide receiver Thomas Johnson sits in a Dallas County jail cell after allegedly admitting to hacking an unsuspecting jogger to death with a machete.

Just before 8 a.m. Monday, authorities say Johnson went to White Rock Creek Trail, a popular jogging trail in northeast Dallas, and randomly slashed a jogger to death. “It appears Mr. Johnson picked this victim at random. Absolutely random,” Deputy Chief Rob Sherwin told the Dallas Morning News. “He just attacked him. … It’s just very unusual. It’s quite shocking.”

Johnson then walked away from the scene in search of a cell phone. An onlooker had already dialed 911, and when police arrived Johnson allegedly told them there was a man “laying down with a sword in his head and not moving.”

“I just committed capital murder,” Johnson said and then repeated, according to his arrest affidavit. The only motive police reported was that Johnson was angry at his situation in life at the time of the slaying.

The victim, an unidentified male between the age of 25 and 35, passed away at a nearby hospital.

Johnson, meanwhile, remains in a Dallas County jail in lieu of $500,000 bail.

Johnson was a highly-regarded member of Kevin Sumlin‘s first recruiting class at Texas A&M. As a true freshman in 2012, the Dallas native caught 30 passes for 339 yards and one touchdown through the Aggies’ upset of then-No. 1 Alabama and then simply… disappeared. He went missing for three days in November 2012 before turning up back home in Dallas. His mother told the San Antonio Express-News last April Johnson would like to return to college football, but a return to the game never materialized.

No punishment from SEC for Bielema’s sideline interaction with Alabama player

Bret Bielema

Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema will not be disciplined by the SEC office for his brief interaction with Alabama offensive lineman Cam Robinson last weekend. A video showing Bielema exaggerating his interaction with Robinson at the end of a play was reviewed by SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, and the commissioner has discussed the situation with the Razorbacks coach.

“I visited with Bret over the phone on Monday and we discussed the play that has now become widely reviewed through a brief video clip,” Sankey said in a released statement. “Football is played in an intense competitive environment and I reminded him of the need for head coaches to resolve with their own players issues that may arise, which was his intent. The unsportsmanlike penalty assessed on the play was not directly associated with Bret’s efforts to intervene at the end of the play and we are moving forward in a positive manner.”

That appears to be the end of the discussion regarding Bielema’s act. I personally think there should have been some more done here by the league’s commissioner, but we will see if Bielema avoids putting himself in a similar position moving forward.