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College Basketball
Grant Wahl
February 15, 1999
A Long Dry Spell Year after year, scores go down. Could the refs reverse the trend?
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February 15, 1999

College Basketball

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Worse still, a closer look at Louisville's wranglings with the NCAA shows a system of cronyism and conflicts of interest:

•The finding that the hotel room violations were secondary was presented on Aug. 9,1998, by Rich Hilliard, the NCAA's director of enforcement. Later that month Hilliard resigned and accepted a position with Glazier's Overland Park, Kans., law firm. (He says that his job change was prompted by the NCAA's pending relocation from Overland Park to Indianapolis, that he contacted Glazier about a job only after he had submitted his finding to the NCAA and that he has had nothing to do with the Louisville matter since joining the firm. The timing of his move, however, suggests that he was contemplating a job shift to the firm that represented Louisville even as he recommended a slap on the Cards' wrist)

•Mike Slive, the chairman of the appeals committee, is the commissioner of Conference USA, of which Louisville is a member. Though Slive recused himself from the case, he advised Louisville about its strategy.

•Slive is also the former senior partner in the defunct Slive-Glazier Sports Group, which specialized in representing colleges and universities in trouble with the NCAA This, of course, means that whenever Glazier faces the appeals committee, he is arguing before his former partner.

Why did the infractions committee agree to let the appeals committee make the final ruling on the case? (The NCAA acknowledges that the usual procedure in such instances is to remand the matter to the infractions committee for rehearing.) Explains David Swank, the infractions committee chair, "There were serious findings against Louisville, that's true, but if we had reheard the case, the earliest postseason penalty wouldn't have gone into effect until 2000. We didn't think that it was fair to penalize [next year's] players for violations that occurred before they got there."

The lesson in all this, it seems? Hire high-priced legal help and drag out the process until the NCAA gives up.

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

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