Friday, November 30, 2012

Right to Remain Silent - Not Really

A booster (read - big donor), who is now in prison for fraud and money laundering, is claiming to have given a cool $2 million in benefits like prostitutes, dinners, and cash to various players at the University of Miami starting in 2002.    As it should, the NCAA is reviewing this claim.

And this is how, by posting this letter to the players suspected of taking the perks:

"The purpose of this letter is to apprise you that the NCAA enforcement staff is requesting to schedule an interview with your clients regarding their knowledge of or involvement in possible NCAA violations concerning the University of Miami, Florida, football program.
"Interviewing your clients is important in order for the enforcement staff to conduct a thorough investigation, and both the staff and the institution request you and your clients' cooperation in this matter. However, at this time, all attempts to schedule and execute interviews with [blank] have been unsuccessful. As a result, this letter serves as a formal and final request by the NCAA enforcement staff for interviews with [blank] to be completed by Nov. 23, 2012.
"If we do not hear back from you or your clients by that time, the staff will consider the non-response as your client's admission of involvement in NCAA violations. You may contact me at [blank] in order to arrange this interview. Your assistance in this matter is appreciated."

If only criminal cases were that easy.  Mr. Defendant, the police officer said you killed someone.  If you say absolutely nothing, we will assume you admit the allegations and you will spend the rest of your life in jail.  If you didn't do it, you would say so, right?

I know the fifth amendment privilege against self-incrimination is limited and not available in situations like this, but it still does not seem an appropriate way to investigate and determine sanctions.  This is why judges go through such great pains in jury selection to dismiss jurors who think that a defendant must testify or would hold it against a defendant who chooses not to testify.  The burden is on the investigators, the prosecution and police.

As for the college kids?  Some would argue paying them for their athletic participation would avoid this.  But we have to remember they are only 18, 19, and 20 year olds who are getting money and huge benefits thrown at them.  They don't know how to use the word no yet and paying them wouldn't stop it at all.  But that's a topic for a different post.  Maybe a different blog.


  1. Hey there! Do you happen to know how to test if the content of your site is unique around the whole Internet and there is no such a person who is it without your awareness?