Monday, March 12, 2007

My Letter to the NCAA

After hearing NCAA President Brand's recent comments on the "Title IX Excuse" that Ohio University made, I decided to write him a letter, just as many of you have done. Following the NCAA route to reinstating the four teams is interesting. After all, they are the governing body of their member institutions. They have a 400+ page constitution and policies document that lists rules that institutions must follow. Why not examine these rules to see if OU violated any while eliminating the teams.

I spent 15 minutes reading the document and already found very serious violations. Read more in the letter below...

Dear NCAA President Brand:

I respect the great work you are doing at the NCAA. In response to the unfortunate and messy decision that was made at Ohio University, you stated that it was a "poor message" and was "unfortunate". I fully agree. To help fix the situation and to promote NCAA athletics, I ask you to take the lead in this crisis. As President of the NCAA, it is your responsibility to "initiate, stimulate and improve intercollegiate athletics programs for student-athletes".

Furthermore, it is your responsibility to oversee the appropriate execution of NCAA policies and principles, including Principle 2.2.6: "It is the responsibility of each member institution to involve student-athletes in matters that affect their lives."

At Ohio University, the Athletic Department and university administration did not involve student-athletes in a matter that directly affects their lives: the elimination of their team and student-athlete status without proper notification or participation in the decision-making process.

In addition, Principle 2.2.5 states: "It is the responsibility of each member institution to ensure that coaches and administrators exhibit fairness, openness and honesty in their relationships with student-athletes."

This is a very serious principle that was violated at Ohio University. Did you know that Athletic Department officials, including the Director, allegedly made false statement to prospective student-athletes before they signed their letters of intent? Did you know that the Athletic Director allegedly promised prospective and current student-athletes that their teams would not be cut during their tenure on the team?

In 15 minutes, I have already discovered the several NCAA policies that Ohio University has violated in regard to their elimination of four athletic teams. I can’t imagine what trained attorneys could find in a matter of weeks, or what the professional staff at the NCAA could find!

President Brand, please lead the thousands of student-athletes, students, alumni, parents, and fans of Ohio University. Please contact Ohio University officials to set a meeting to discuss how they violated NCAA policies to avoid potentially violating other policies. Please meet with the Athletic Director to discuss his false promises to student-athletes and prospective athletes. Ultimately, please ensure that your organization’s policies and constitution are not disrespected.

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