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Women’s basketball receives NCAA Notice of Inquiry

August 11, 2011

The title says most of what needs to be said. As you might guess, this relates to the NCAA violations EMU self-reported last September, dealing mainly with excessive practices and recruits participating in organized workouts.

While it’s certainly possible the NCAA thinks there’s more to uncover or, more likely, that someone at EMU either lied during the investigation or committed an intentional violation (which would also imply a lie, since all the implicated coaches said they didn’t know any better), it’s also entirely possible that this is just the Association following their normal procedure, dotting their “i”s and crossing their “t”s. The letter itself, received at EMU yesterday, is very non-specific, and in fact, is word-for-word the letter sent to North Carolina two months ago (the only differences being the dates, institution names, and addressees).

In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, I’m inclined to believe that this is just the standard NCAA procedure. When North Carolina received their letter, that investigation had been ongoing for a full year, and UNC athletic director Dick Baddour said, “The notice of inquiry is a formal notification from the NCAA that they have been reviewing our football program. We have been working with the NCAA and cooperating with them on this investigation. We are committed to the process and will continue to cooperate.”

President Martin summed up EMU’s position today, which is really the official position of any institution in such a situation, saying, “Eastern Michigan University responded swiftly and decisively when we initially learned of this matter. We self-reported the violations and instituted self-imposed sanctions after conducting our internal investigation. The well-being of our student athletes and the integrity of our athletic programs are institutional priorities. We have cooperated fully with the NCAA and will continue to do so as the investigation continues.” AD Derrick Gragg, who’s background is in NCAA compliance, added that “Full compliance with all rules and regulations of the NCAA, the MAC, and Eastern Michigan University is our most important mission. We will continue to cooperate fully with the NCAA, and will work through this matter until its resolution.”

At this point, I think there’s really no more to say about this. We’ll simply have to wait for additional announcements from the NCAA or from EMU to shed more light on this letter.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Kenneth Barna permalink
    August 12, 2011 10:44 am

    Dear cmadler,
    Would this investigation mean the removal of the Head Coach Gilbert? As I remember wasn’t one of the assistants removed already, as the “fall guy”? Practice for the basketball teams starts in a couple of months, and don’t people have to know what the end result is going to be?

    • August 12, 2011 11:36 am

      Depends. If this is just a formality — a step the NCAA has to go through to conclude the investigation — and there’s nothing new, then I’d expect no further action. But if any additional violations surface, depending on the severity, Gilbert might be gone. You’re right, Darin Thrun was possibly a scapegoat — I say possibly because of course I’m not in a position to know what went on in team meetings and conversations between Thrun and Gilbert — though he wasn’t removed; Thrun left EMU to be an assistant coach at Saginaw Valley State (Division II).

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