the BigAmateurism monologues

A series of events over the last 18 months—some unforeseeable—have created a perfect storm that will change college sports forever. The NCAA's bait an…
Aug 18th, 2021 | 1:02:29

51: The NCAA’s “limited authorities” Myth

The NCAA constitutional committee has begun its campaign to “align responsibilities with authorities.” Through “independent” Board of Governors member Robert Gates, the NCAA has framed this alignment to suggest that the NCAA has too much responsibility and too little authority. The opposite is true. In the last episode, we looked at how little responsibility and accountability the NCAA actually has. This episode examines the NCAA’s audacious claim that it has little authority as well as its covert attempts to expand its powers. We also explore the basic contours of the NCAA’s infractions and enforcement process, emphasizing its coercive elements. We also look at the infractions/enforcement process through the lens of the Commission on College Basketball’s which recommended in 2018 a “prompt, radical transformation of the NCAA’s investigative and enforcement process.” In 2019, the NCAA quietly attempted to intervene in a criminal case—United States v Gatto— arising from the 2017 college basketball scandal to obtain investigatory “materials” (FBI wiretap transcripts, text messages, emails, correspondence interviews with witnesses) so offensive and unreliable to the court that they were excluded from evidence and placed under seal. The materials were infused with hearsay, gossip, innuendo, and unverifiable allegations. The NCAA intended to use these materials in their infractions and enforcement process to identify, charge, and prosecute “bad actors.” Both the prosecution and the defense opposed the NCAA’s request, and the judge denied it. The NCAA also seeks subpoena power through Senator Jerry Moran’s (R-KS) February 2021 bill—the “Amateur Athletes Protection and Compensation Act of 2021.” Under Moran’s proposal, the NCAA would have the authority to request subpoenas to compel the production of documents and testimony for use in its enforcement and infractions process. Far from having “little authority,” as the NCAA and Gates claim, the NCAA acts as a rogue administrative state with breathtaking authority and power.