NCAA the big loser in Miami case

The NCAA Committee on Infractions found that Miami committed a wide array of the most serious violations in the NCAA Division I Manual, from booster Nevin Shapiro entertaining student-athletes and recruits, to several football and basketball coaches knowing about it and lying about it to the NCAA, to the dreaded charge (ominous music here) of lack of institutional control.

But the announcement that the NCAA would take away only three football scholarships and one basketball scholarship in each of the next three seasons came as a whimper, not a bang. No, the banging presumably came from USC, where officials dealing with the NCAA-mandated loss of 10 scholarships per year are slamming their heads against the wall.

The difference, very simply, is that Miami cooperated and USC didn't. Miami's top officials moved to investigate and USC's didn't. Former USC athletic director Mike Garrett mocked the NCAA's decision against the Trojans as "nothing but a lot of envy," which pretty much captured his attitude during the entire NCAA investigation of the Reggie Bush case. By doing so, Garrett provided his alma mater with a legacy more bitter than his 1965 Heisman Trophy is sweet.

Committee on Infractions chair Britton Banowsky said the NCAA has no sentencing guidelines. Each case has a unique set of facts, and the membership of the committee typically isn't the same from one academic year to the next.

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