Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Don't forget to bring a towel

In case you ever really wondered about the inanity of the NCAA's guidelines on everything, Maize and Brew brings us Exhibit 2 from the Michigan investigation (yes, this is a completely real interview transcript):

Good Lord. It's a miracle that every school in the country hasn't been penalized at some point for gray-area practice-time overages.

And if you're interested in this sort of thing, Mgoblog took an in-depth look at the Michigan documents and came to one clear-cut conclusion: Scott Draper (the assistant athletic director for football) and Brad Labadie (director of football operations, working directly underneath Draper) should be fired.

While the school's compliance office was sending out constant, nagging emails asking for practice-time forms, descriptions of quality-control staff duties, etc. -- in a proactive effort to avoid any potential violations -- these guys were apparently asking each other about TPS reports or something while responding with emails along the lines of "errrr yeah, I'm just getting the final signatures right now" but not ever submitting anything until the day before the Free Press report went public.*

It was a comedy of errors that revolved around the football administration refusing to respond to the compliance officers' demands for required forms. And the problems started in October 2007, when Lloyd Carr was still coach. It was first noticed that documentation was missing in April 2008. The compliance office started hounding people to the point that Labadie actually sent an email complaining about it, yet the problem dragged on and on and on until August 2009, when the school was notified of the Free Press story and somebody said "oh shit, what's everybody been doing for the last 18 months?"

This is why UM believes Rich Rodriguez should not be punished for a "failure to monitor": Associate athletic director Judy Van Horn and RichRod "agreed that Labadie and Draper would continue to be the administrators responsible for football compliance issues" at the time of his hiring. He was told about how things were done and that those guys handled it. They didn't handle it, and Rodriguez was never made aware of it (apparently because he's such an intimidating figure):
Labadie told the enforcement staff that he did not tell Rodriguez that he had failed to submit CARA forms because he did not want Rodriguez to look unfavorably upon him.
Huh? Rodriguez also stated in his official response to the NCAA that he had prepared and submitted descriptions of the quality-control staffers' job duties. These were never turned in to the compliance office by Draper/Labadie (if they had been, the compliance people likely would have recognized the problem with QC staffers being involved in voluntary workouts). Oh, and Labadie was the guy who told the coaching staff that the oh-so-controversial stretching time could be considered voluntary. Good work all around.

There's a lot more in the full post, but in summary, there was a shitload of communication that was never responded to (or was responded to with lies and procrastination). It's actually pretty embarrassing. I don't know what else Draper and Labadie do, but how you ignore important requests from your superiors for a year and a half without getting punched in the face (or fired) is beyond me. Unfortunately, nobody actually kicked these guys in the ass and forced them to do the things they were supposed to be doing, and it resulted in the penalties announced yesterday.

* This is not a joke. After one of the monthly email requests (in March 2009), this was the response:
Draper replies that Brad is acquiring the "last remaining signature[s]" from the seniors.
The forms weren't turned in until five months later. There were no player signatures on them. AAAAAARRRRGHGHGHGHGHGH. Why am I unemployed while these guys are making close to $100K?

1 comment:

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