Whether they’re college football fans or not, many Americans are aware of the NCAA’s two-year-plus investigation into the University of Miami’s football and basketball program. After all, the story had all the ingredients to captivate the general public.
In 2011, a major news outlet broke the story not only alleging that athletes took money and free drinks from a booster, but the same booster in question was a convicted felon in jail for a $930 million Ponzi scheme and purportedly paid for abortions on behalf of players (an unproven accusation).
But as the NCAA investigation came to a close on October 22, the biggest loser was not the school who was accused of wrongdoing and received resulting penalties, but the NCAA itself. Do you think if the NCAA knew the outcome two years ago it would have taken the word of a criminal and dug in to “bury” the University of Miami?
The NCAA made a calculated risk to use this case as an avenue to reclaim control of major college athletics and the big business it has become, and instead lost its reputation in the process. (This UCLA case and the Ed O’Bannon/video game lawsuit haven’t helped either).