After admitting to troubling improprieties on the part of its investigators, it didn't seem like things could get much worse for the NCAA in its investigation of the Miami athletic department. But, oh, it did.
Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press is reporting that former NCAA investigator Ameen Najjar wrote a letter on behalf of tipster Nevin Shapiro prior to his sentencing on counts of securities fraud and money laundering. Najjar went so far as to suggest that Shapiro could eventually work for the NCAA as a consultant.
Shapiro, of course, tried to take a blowtorch to the Miami athletic department with revelations that he allegedly lavished illicit extra benefits on university student-athletes, primarily football players. The idea that Shapiro could help the NCAA with his insights into boosters' relationships with athletes does square with an occasional practice in law enforcement in which scofflaws are hired as advisers.
On the other hand…
For starters, what the hell kind of "consulting" is Shapiro going to do?
Investigator: "So, tell us, how do these 'boosters' convey extra benefits to players, er, student-athletes?"
Shapiro: "Well, I don't know how they do it everywhere else, but we had an intricate systems of me handing them money and buying them things."
(You can see how Shapiro managed to bilk millions out of people – he has no problem identifying a chump.)
Also, what would lead someone to think that helping the NCAA enforce its rules should have any bearing on the punishment given to someone convicted of swindling more than $80 million out of investors?
Ultimately, this latest revelation just lends credence to the idea that Shapiro had even deeper motives than merely settling scores when he blew the whistle on the Hurricanes. Meanwhile, the NCAA continues to solidify its image as an overzealous rent-a-cop with a delusional sense of self-importance.