Yahoo! Sports Radio’s Tim Brando Show interviewed Charles Robinson, the lead investigative reporter on last week’s thermonuclear blast on the Miami Hurricanes and convicted Ponzi schemer/UM booster Nevin Shapiro.
Nicknamed by his colleagues the “Angel of Death,” having Robinson and his crew check in at the local Homewood Suites strikes fear in the heart of fanbases, compliance officers and coaches alike.
Robinson spends the first few minutes of the interview explaining how he’d corrected a Miami Herald report that cast doubt on one of his on-the-record sources, Tyrone Moss. Moss claimed he’d never spoken with Robinson and never went on the record. Moss must have forgotten that Robinson taped the interview…
Brando then asked Robinson about how he saw the NCAA investigation moving forward. Robinson noted that players who were involved in the Miami case had transferred to other programs were retaining eligibility, despite being involved in violations of NCAA rules. Robinson believes this is an indication that these players have been reached out to by the NCAA and, as a result of their cooperation are allowed to remain eligible and play with their new teams.
He makes note of the North Carolina case that blew up last summer that cost several players their amateur status, got coach Butch Davis fired, and will likely leave UNC in a world of probation hurt. But at about 5:05 into the exchange, Robinon says the following:
… Let me point one guy out in particular: Marcel Dareus was a player at Alabama deeply involved in several things with Marvin Austin and other guys in terms of these trips. Marcel Dareus was only nicked for two games. And the reason for that was what was called mitigating circumstances. Essentially, Marcel Dareus cooperated with the NCAA investigation he was then enabled to retain a large portion of his eligibility.
Robinson is using the Dareus case example to explain how the former Miami players and recruits were able to retain eligibility. When the NCAA or compliance officials reach out to student-athletes in the course of an investigation and the players cooperate fully, mitigating circumstances allow them to retain their amateur status.
Robinson goes on to explain how landmark cases like the Ohio State Tattoogate scandal motivate other universities take a look at their own programs and correct potential problems of a similar nature. Beginning at about 7:35:
A good example is look at how Alabama dealt with this individual from T-Town Menswear. They stepped out. They said, “hey, we have guys around this guy. He’s a shop owner. They excommunicated this guy from the program. And it happened right at the time when Ohio State was going through their whole mess with the memorabilia stuff and the Jim Tressel issues.
This is exactly the logic laid out here last Tuesday. Players that cooperate with investigations are given the chance to retain their eligibility and remain with their teams, and institutions that are proactive in compliance efforts aren’t on the NCAA radar screen.
Exit Question: Was that giant cracking sound caused by thousands of rival fans’ ankles breaking as they jumped off of the “Charles Robinson is investigating Alabama!” bandwagon?