We haven’t had a good Sudden Impact slugfest in a while, but I felt like hitting you with a parting shot before the weekend rolls around. Today’s food for thought will reveal some cool little facts. Artificially Sweetened and I are going up to the Holy Land to watch the Penguins play the Lightning this weekend; accordingly, this turkey probably won’t be around when the proverbial shit hits the fan.
With all this talk about the NCAA’s hypocrisy of late, lots of reporters have been digging up historical examples of NCAA malfeasance. Long buried tidbits that meant little “back then” suddenly seem relevant. The latest “Where Are They Now?” factoid involves our favorite B1Gshot, Jim Delany.
Rewind the tape to 1978. A younger, hornier Jim Delany was then an investigator for the NCAA. Here’s an AP story I dug up from Page 28 of the March 1, 1978 Toledo Blade, buried among the bowling scores (damning portion in bold red):
MISSION, Kan (AP) The executive director of the NCAA says an investigator’s involvement with a young woman in Mississippi was unrelated to an investigation at the University of Mississippi.
Walter Byers, executive director of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, issued a six-page statement Tuesday disputing the congressional testimony of former NCAA employee Brent Clark.
Clark, testifying Monday before a congressional subcommittee proving the workings of the NCAA, said the association used “manipulative and corrupt” tactics to investigate allegations of wrongdoing by its 800 member institutions.
As an example, Clark charged that an athlete at the University of Mississippi, James Jordan, had provided an investigator, Jim Delany, “with the services of a young lady.”
Clark said Delany then went to Mississippi coach Ken Cooper and told him that he wouldn’t turn in data on Jordan to his superiors because he did not want them to learn about the young lady.
Byers said he talked with Delany, who is single, about the charges and also reviewed the cases Clark said were involved.
“It appears that Mr. Clark has tried to exploit personal information, unrelated to any infractions case, which was obtained by him during an informal, friend-to-friend conversation with Mr. Delany.”
Clark, Byers said, cast the information in a new context “in an apparent effort to give credibility to his charges against the NCAA staff, even at the expense of a friend.”
Clark testified that Bill Hunt, who heads the enforcement unit and was one of Clark’s superiors at the NCAA, once suggested that Clark obtain an interview with a young athlete by telling him he could get a tryout with the Kansas City Kings. Clark said he declined to carry out the suggestion.
According to Byers, Clark had called Hunt asking for assistance in locating the player, Major Jones. Hunt called the general manager of the Kings, who located Jones, Byers said.
“Mr. Hunt never offered a professional basketball tryout opportunity to Major Jones in exchange for his assistance and never suggested to Mr. Clark that he make such an offer.”
Byers noted that Kings’ general manager, Joe Axelson, has also denied Clark’s accusations.
Delany would have been 30 in 1978. He had received his J.D. from UNC in 1973 and then worked as counsel to the North Carolina Senate Judiciary Committee until being hired as staff attorney for the North Carolina Justice Department in 1974. The following year, he took a job with NCAA as an enforcement representative, and remained there for four years. Hmmm. Then he moved on to serving as commissioner for the Ohio Valley conference until 1989, when he was appointed commissioner of the Big Ten.
I hope the unnamed female was worth it, although Delany seems to have emerged unscathed.
Interesting, eh? The NCAA’s dirtiness never ceases to astound this turkey, even if it resurfaces from 35 years ago!
But wait! There’s more! Robert Wheel of SB*Nation expounds on why firing Mark Emmert would not be enough to fix the NCAA. My friend RD was reading this article when the following paragraphs popped out at him:
It’s tempting to blame the NCAA’s current problems on president Mark Emmert, but they long predate him. Investigators have always been a problem with the NCAA. Take a look at this excerpt from the Congressional Record in 1978 that Sports by Brooks uncovered. Congress found out that a recruit bought off then-NCAA investigator Jim Delany (yes, THAT Jim Delany) by giving him a date with one of his friends. Delany then told the Ole Miss football coach that he wouldn’t report his findings because the recruit had dirt on him.
Flash forward 35 years and NCAA investigators don’t look much different. Ameen Najjar broke the law by paying Nevin Shapiro’s lawyer, used a burner phone to contact Shapiro in prison and even deposited money into his prison commissary account. At this point you can’t even tell the investigators from the people that they’re investigating.
[Links are reproduced from the SB*Nation article verbatim. This turkey makes no claims as to their veracity. —TNT]
So, we have not one but two of our nemeses presumably on the hot seat because of their “don’t give a shit” attitudes in connection with their tenure at the NCAA.
But Wheel concludes, as his title says, that firing Emmert would be good, but not good enough:
Getting rid of Emmert would be good. He’s not interested in real reform, but unless the NCAA starts paying players, then nothing will change.
Amateurism is a malignant tumor; it infects everything that it touches. When your organization is predicated on unpaid labor, it’s forced to use underhanded tactics to attempt to root out violations of that policy because there’s no legal way to accomplish the goal of maintaining that unpaid labor force. The NCAA is a plantation, and when you run a plantation there’s no way that you’ll have clean enforcers.
I agree. The NCAA is a cesspool of hypocrisy, and that relates directly to the ostensible premise under which it is chartered: to protect so-called amateur athletes from the influence of the big, bad buck while the organization conducts its own form of exploitation of the supposed student-athletes.
The most recent high-profile morass, of course, is the Miami caper, in which the NCAA improperly obtained testimony against a booster accused of transgressions with players. The NCAA found the University of Miami purportedly guilty of having a lack of institutional control — its favorite harsh finding to provide a springboard for penalization of its target. Apparently, the NCAA’s own lack of institutional control is not an issue, but I digress. Miami president Donna Shalala, who probably inherited her balls from previous boss Bill Clinton, fired back a strongly worded missive to the NCAA telling them where they could go.
Apparently, that bird-flip pissed off the NCAA, because the settlement talks that were initiated last week have now been broken off by the NCAA. Emmert still thinks he can flex his institutional muscles.
Pretty defensive, in my analysis. Emmert always did have problems with strong women beating on him. Just look at Vicky Triponey.
Now let’s move on to other news in brief. (No, I’m not writing this in my briefs!)
No big surprises here, but Penn State’s lawyers declare former wide receiver coach Mike McQueary’s lawsuit against the University to be without merit.
Meanwhile, in another non-surprise, the Tickle Monster’s attorneys have filed his appeal to Pennsylvania Superior Court.
Finally, State College continues its crackdown on “State Patrick’s Day” drinking by interdicting the source. I guess students will just have to do their drinking in Bellefonte or in the woods just like the olden days, right Tammo?