NCAA Investigator: Alabama Couldn’t Control Booster
An NCAA investigator has admitted that the University of Alabama could not have avoided sanctions on its football team because the booster in question was outside the school’s control.
NCAA investigator: UA couldn’t stop sanctions (Birmingham News)
The investigator who probed illegal football recruiting in Memphis said the University of Alabama could not have avoided its sanctions even if UA had been warned before the Tide signed Albert Means.
In documents released last week in the Ronnie Cottrell-Ivy Williams lawsuit against the NCAA, Richard Johanningmeier said in a deposition there was nothing then-faculty athletics representative Gene Marsh could have done to avoid penalties because “I don’t believe anyone at Alabama could have controlled Logan Young.”
Young, the now-disassociated Alabama booster, was convicted in federal court in Memphis for bribery of a public official for paying Trevezant High football coach Lynn Lang $150,000 to steer Means to Alabama.
Former commissioner Roy Kramer said he regretted telling other Southeastern Conference schools about the Means investigation but not Alabama. Kramer had received several communications from University of Tennessee head football coach Phillip Fulmer regarding possible violations by Young in Memphis, according to the court documents.
Johanningmeier told attorneys for Cottrell and Williams that NCAA procedure did not call for investigators to inform schools that possible violations had occurred until an official letter of inquiry was sent by the investigators’ superiors.
Asked if Marsh could have prevented the violations had he been informed earlier, Johanningmeier said: “I don’t believe he could have because the violations had already occurred, and it was the (NCAA) staff’s position that, with the outside booster involvement, the university would have had a very difficult time and probably would have never been able to stop some of the activities that were going on.”
I’ve been arguing that for years. How a school is supposed to stop the actions of a wealthy but enthusiastic fan acting on his own accord is beyond me. That rather begs the question then, of why the school is held accountable for the actions of said boosters.
The NCAA’s sanctions process is an absolute travesty. The cases drag on for years and, when the inevitable penalties are handed down, the people who were in positions of responsibility when the infractions occured are usually long gone. Those punished are players who were in high school at the time of the alleged incident. It’s absolutely bizarre.