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A Chat With John Infante: The NCAA Bylaw Blogger Provides His Insight On Miami And The NCAA

On the heels of a couple of reports that former Miami coaches Frank Haith, Aubrey Hill, and Clint Hurtt will be hammered by the NCAA, Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald chatted with John Infante, proprietor of the Bylaw Blog.

Infante gave his insight on the current state of the NCAA investigation, and what the recent reports could mean for Miami. If you'll remember, we provided this update to you last week, outlining information that we had heard in response to the report that the NOA would be delivered within 72 hours of last Monday (which turned out to be false). Since then, it's basically come to light that a lot of what we had been told was correct, and that the main focus of the NCAA was on the former coaches involved, and the university has been playing second chair.

Infante had this to say about what the allegations against the former coaches means for Miami:

"Well, it sounds like nearly all the assistants are being charged with unethical conduct and it also sounds like Frank Haith is going to be charged with failing to create an atmosphere of compliance, which generally only head coaches are charged with. It can be helpful [for Miami]. The biggest thing is when you have that many coaches [charged with unethical conduct] and go in front of the Committee on Infractions there's going to be a lot of people in the room to spread blame around.

When you talk about the presentations and the answers given in front of the COI, I think generally the feeling is amongst a lot of people who have gone through that process is that coaches tend not to perform as well as the institution does. In the end for Miami, it all kind of depends what kind of charges the school is facing. We kind of expect in addition to the specific violations the NCAA feels it has evidence of it's pretty much a guarantee there is going to be a failure to monitor charge.

I would also be surprised if there is not a lack of institutional control charge as well. If Miami's cooperation is considered better and the coaches don't perform well in the hearing that could lead to the COI sort of finding that in spite of institutional failings by Miami this was more the coaches fault and bring the penalties down on the coaches more than on the institution -- especially considering the two post-season bans the [football program] has already imposed."

This opinion, while it does mention that Miami could be hit with failure to monitor and the LOIC charge, lends itself more to the idea that when it comes time for the parties involved to plead their cases, Miami's lawyers and staff will have a much easier time of it. This will no doubt be bolstered by the fact that the head coach during the majority of the allegations, Randy Shannon, was extremely vocal about his disdain for Shapiro and cautioned everyone who would listen to stay away from him.

Being that Shannon was basically the middleman between the football program and Shalala et al, it should be much easier for the university to plead its case that the coaches named were the major violators here, and that the school should not be held as accountable as they were. This was more or less validated by Infante:

"It certainly does. We've seen Shannon not being named in any of the violations and him not facing any unethical conduct or failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance charges. Because he is the head coach, he is supposed to be the one as the direct link to the administration and what they do in terms of monitoring and applying compliance. If he did that well, that helps show there was a chain of command of monitoring and promoting institutional control and thus the blame falls on the assistant coaches.

If that's the case then, we may see kind of a smaller failure to monitor or lack of institutional control that could end up more centered on the basketball violations where it looks like the head coach was involved in some manner. While charges like failure to monitor are institution violations it can get to be more specific than that. It can focus on what sport led to that charge."

This could be worse news for the basketball program than the football program, as Infante noted. Haith is a major player in the allegations, and he, at least in some way, looks to be involved with Shapiro while he was head coach of the team. Whether this means that he himself will get hit and the basketball program will be left alone, or whether they both will be hit remains to be seen. Either way, the process will certainly be a convoluted one, whenever it gets to being finished.

You can read the rest of the story by Navarro and Infante by clicking on these words.

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