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Old 10-03-17, 02:06 PM
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FormerWildcat FormerWildcat is offline
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Here's another interesting take.


Walter Harrison, who retired in July as president of the University of Hartford and spent 15 years in the NCAA's governance system on several of its most powerful committees, knows firsthand the difference between NCAA enforcement and federal law enforcement. As vice president for university relations and a key adviser to the president of the University of Michigan in the late 1990s, Harrison was among several officials tasked with investigating charges that members of the university's "Fab Five" basketball team had received payments to enroll there. "We were trying to figure out if any money had changed hands, and we tried to get to [former player] Chris Webber's bank accounts. They said no, and we couldn't go any further." The inquiry ended without major findings.

Not long after, Ed Martin, the booster at the center of the allegations, drew the attention of the U.S. attorney in Detroit for allegedly laundering money from an illegal gambling operation. "It turned out that hundreds of thousands of dollars had changed hands, and that five players had received money. Webber had perjured himself. But we couldn't touch it."

Even having seen the limits of what an internal investigation can uncover, Harrison said that if he were running a major basketball power right now, he would be "charging the AD to look very carefully… at which players you've been able to attract over the last few years, which [Amateur Athletic Union] coaches they were close to… what kinds of cars the kids were driving."

More fundamentally, Harrison said he was concerned that what one colleague a decade ago described as the "cesspool underneath men's basketball" -- money changing hands, corruption, stuff "you just don't want to know about," he was told -- is poised to be outed. "If I were leading the NCAA, I'd be thinking, 'If I don’t do something about this in a very visible way, Congress might,' and that would worry me a lot," he said. Harrison was referring to the re-emergence, spawned by the FBI investigation, of congressional interest that has, in the past, suggested a possible antitrust exemption to change how college sports are governed.
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