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Miami Asking For Nonexistent Motion

Like the coaches involved in the case, Miami will file a “motion” to have the NCAA’s infractions case against the school dismissed. One problem:

But according to two sources, the NCAA last week sent a letter to UM and the implicated former coaches with a warning: The infractions committee “does not believe it has the authority under the bylaws to dismiss the case” prior to the case going before the infractions committee in mid-June.

The Committee on Infractions is correct in that there is no established NCAA process for having a case dismissed by the COI prior to the institution filing a response. There is this though:

32.6.6 – Prehearing Conference.

Within 30 days of an institution’s submission of its written response to the notice of allegations, in a case involving an alleged major violation, the enforcement staff shall consult with institutional representatives and other involved individuals who will attend the hearing in order to clarify the issues to be discussed in the case during the hearing, make suggestions regarding additional investigation or interviews that should be conducted by the institution to supplement its response and identify allegations that the staff intends to withdraw. The enforcement staff shall conduct independent prehearings with the institution and/or any involved individuals, unless mutually agreed by all parties to do otherwise.

If the NCAA is following its rules, this is the first opportunity for the case to go away now that the Notice of Allegations was sent. The enforcement staff, now under new leadership, could decide to simply withdraw all allegations in light of Miami’s response.

That would be the quickest way to end the case, but it might not be the best, even for Miami. Miami has played and continues to play the victim. But maintaining that status is more difficult if it appears that Miami got off on a technicality, despite the self-imposed sanctions.

While it takes longer, the best outcome for Miami is to get its day in court and be vindicated; i.e. go in front of the Committee on Infractions and receive no additional punishment. But given how difficult it is to predict what the COI will do in any given case, Miami has to take every opportunity to avoid rolling those dice.

The other notable part of this and other articles is how effective the PR campaign has been for Miami and the involved coaches. Miami is not “filing a motion”. It is sending a strongly worded letter. And the NCAA pointing out to Miami that it has no such motion has become “throwing up roadblocks”. Overplaying its hand as the victim and the underdog is a danger for Miami, but so far that does not seem to be the case.

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