University of Miami Alleges More Improper Behavior by NCAA: Report

UM plans to submit motion to dismiss NCAA's case against school on Friday

By David Hill
|  Thursday, Mar 28, 2013  |  Updated 9:06 PM EDT
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Timeline: UM's Nevin Shapiro Scandal

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The University of Miami plans to file a motion to dismiss the NCAA's case against the school for its role in the Nevin Shapiro scandal on Friday, having learned of more unethical behavior by the NCAA during its investigation of the school.

The Miami Herald reported Wednesday night that Stephanie Hannah, the NCAA director of enforcement who took over the UM case last May when the organization fired Ameen Najjar, also tried to use Shapiro's attorney, Maria Elena Perez, to solicit information that could be used in the UM case.

Najjar was fired for just such an action, but Hannah's role was not mentioned in the NCAA-commissioned report which exposed Najjar's wrongdoing. UM will file a motion to dismiss the NCAA's case against the school on Friday, according to the Herald.

The report compiled by the Cadwalader law firm called Najjar's proposal to pay Perez for asking witnesses deposed in Nevin Shapiro's bankruptcy case about information germane to the NCAA's case "unquestionably a bad idea for the NCAA."

The Herald obtained an email exchange between Perez and Hannah, in which Hannah wrote, "Regarding the enforcement staff's interest in questioning [name redacted], attached is a document that outlines questions/topics to discuss with him."

A representative at Cadwalader told the Herald Hannah was not included in its report because "Ms. Hannah had not been involved in the initial arrangements with Ms. Perez and believed that there was nothing amiss and that it had been blessed prior to her involvement."

That is not the only malfeasance UM will mention in its motion, according to the Herald. The school will also argue that the NCAA included charges in its notice of allegations that were not corroborated by anyone but Shapiro. Additionally, UM will assert that NCAA investigators misled interview subjects by telling them that other people made comments that were never made, in hopes of convincing subjects to reveal evidence that could incriminate UM.

According to the Herald, the NCAA has already told UM that the infractions committee cannot dismiss the case before a full hearing is held in June, but UM will proceed with the motion anyway.

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