For the past two years, the NCAA has been investigating allegations from a convicted Ponzi schemer that he had provided illicit payments and other benefits to University of Miami student-athletes and personnel associated with its basketball and football programs. On January 22, 2013, NCAA President Mark Emmert announced in a press conference that the NCAA’s Enforcement Staff had apparently acted inappropriately in that investigation.
The inappropriate investigative conduct arose after the NCAA’s lead investigator had problems persuading witnesses to submit to interviews. He turned to the Ponzi schemer’s criminal attorney, who used subpoenas in her client’s bankruptcy proceeding to compel those reluctant witnesses to submit to depositions which produced information that the NCAA used in its investigation.
Given the manipulative appearance of this conduct, President Emmert decided to appoint an outside counsel to conduct an inquiry into the conduct, how it happened, and who approved it. He appointed Ken Wainstein, a partner at Cadwalader, to head the inquiry.
On February 18, 2013, the NCAA announced the completion of Wainstein’s investigation and issued his written report. The report determined that certain NCAA Enforcement Staff had acted contrary to internal protocols and advice from the NCAA’s Legal Staff and had exceeded the limits placed on the NCAA’s investigative authorities.The investigation led to the NCAA ousting the head of the enforcement division who had been chosen to lead the division just over two years earlier.
Now that he has completed the investigation of the Miami situation, Wainstein will continue to advise the NCAA with a broader assessment of the NCAA’s enforcement operations. Click here to review the entire Wainstein report.
Wainstein spent 19 years at the Department of Justice, including time as the director of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys; general counsel and then chief of staff to Director Mueller at the FBI; U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia; and the first assistant attorney general for national security. He also served as homeland security advisor to President Bush. He currently serves on the NAFUSA board of directors.