NCAA fires VP for enforcement, admits flaws in Miami probe
Indianapolis, IN, United States (4E Sports) – The NCAA has fired is vice president of enforcement Julie Roe Lach for approving an “improper financial relationship” between an NCAA investigator and former Miami booster Nevin Shapiro.
The NCAA made the move hours before it released the report detailing several improper moves in the investigation on University of Miami.
According to Yahoo! Sports, Roe Lach was fired because she approved an “improper financial relationship” between an NCAA investigator named Maria Elena Perez and Shapiro, a former Miami booster.
Three sources interviewed as part of the investigation said Roe Lach approved reimbursements for Perez, who conducted bankruptcy depositions of two individuals tied to the UM investigation.
NCAA president Mark Emmert has appointed Jonathan Duncan, a law partner with a focus on education and sports law at Spencer, Fane, Britt & Browne LLP, to serve as interim vice president of enforcement.
“He has worked on NCAA issues for 15 years from multiple perspectives, including service to both the Enforcement and Rules Working Groups,” said Emmert.
Based on the external review by the law firm of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, the NCAA committed missteps and insufficient oversight over Miami’s investigation.
The review said that select enforcement staff members knowingly circumvented legal advice to engage Nevin Shapiro’s criminal defense attorney and violated internal NCAA policy of legal counsel only being retained and monitored by the legal staff.
They also paid insufficient attention to the concern that engaging the criminal defense attorney could constitute an inappropriate manipulation of the bankruptcy process.
Also, they did not sufficiently consider the membership’s understanding about the limits of the enforcement staff’s investigative powers.
“With the completion of the external enforcement review, we recognize that certain investigative tactics used in portions of the University of Miami case failed our membership,” said Emmert.
“As I stated before, we are committed to making the necessary improvements to our enforcement processes and ensuring our actions are consistent with our own values and member expectations,” he added.
Despite the review, the NCAA plans to proceed with the case with information properly obtained by the enforcement staff.