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Report: NCAA Case Against UM Runs Into More Problems

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The NCAA infraction's case against the University of Miami has taken another embarrassing turn for the collegiate governing body.

According to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald, the woman who took over the investigation after a predecessor was fired for trying to use Nevin Shapiro's attorney to build a case against the Canes also tried to do the same thing with attorney Maria Elena Perez.

Specifically, an NCAA director of enforcement, Stephanie Hannah, tried to continue working with Perez to obtain information from a planned deposition of Shapiro's bodyguard, Mario Sanchez. According to the Herald, Hannah submitted a list of questions and topics to discuss with Sanchez.

Ironically, Hannah's ploy only came to light after Perez used it in a response to a Florida Bar investigation, according to the Herald.

The detail was left out of the NCAA's external report that detailed some of the NCAA's improper methods used to gather evidence in the case. The external investigation's law firm told the Herald, "Ms. Hannah assumed there was nothing amiss about the arrangement [with Perez] and that it had been completely blessed prior to her involvement in the case. In light of those circumstances, it is understandable that she raised no alarms about the Perez arrangement."

The NCAA's case is in shambles, despite the charge of lack of institutional control against UM.

In addition, the Herald's Barry Jackson reported that UM will say NCAA investigators "lied to interview subjects by claiming that other people interviewed made comments they never made in order to trick the subjects into revealing incriminating information they otherwise might not have."

It's a similar tactic some police will use in interrogations when trying to get a confession out of a suspect. However, UM believes the behavior in the context of the NCAA's investigation is unethical, according to the Herald.

The lying to interview subjects along with claims that many of the charges made against UM in the notice of allegations are uncorroborated by anyone other than Shapiro and that all of the tainted evidence has not been fully purged will be part of UM's motion to dismiss the case that will be submitted Friday to the NCAA, according to the Herald.

Between omitted facts, unethical investigative practices, convicted criminal testimony and other problems, the NCAA's case is tenuous at best. However, it all comes down to the Committee on Infractions and what they choose to do in the overall case.


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