The attorney involved in holding back the NCAA’s investigation against the University of Miami and Missouri men’s basketball coach Frank Haith spoke out against the NCAA.
The NCAA said there were major issues with the investigation because the NCAA had former Miami booster Nevin Shapiro’s attorneys on its payroll.
Miami-based attorney Maria Elena Perez, who represents Shapiro, talked to the South Florida Sun Sentinel on Thursday.
Perez said the NCAA paid her a small amount of money for her service, but she did not consider herself a part of the NCAA’s legal team.
“It establishes that they wanted to pay for certain things to help Shapiro where there were issues of common interest. Period,” Perez told the Sun Sentinel. “There’s nothing wrong with that. They didn’t pay me to get testimony. They didn’t pay me to get a story. There’s a huge difference.”
The Sun Sentinel’s article is a pleasant surprise for those who hate lawyer-talk and jargon.
Perez did not avoid the question or reply with the customary, “no comment” like everyone else involved in this whole mess in the past few weeks. Instead, Perez was “audibly upset,” according to the Sun Sentinel, about the NCAA’s investigation. She said the NCAA did not establish an attorney-client relationship.
“I think this is completely insane,” Perez said. “I think there’s absolutely nothing here to investigate, and like I told everyone, everything I did was above board.”
Then she grew more adamant.
“I’m a spider, and I play by the rules,” Perez told the Sun Sentinel. “And that’s the only way to win. And in this case I did nothing wrong and I was playing by the … rules and I am not bound by NCAA rules, and if they did something wrong, it is their problem and they are trying to make it my problem. This is not my problem.”
No matter who is determined to be at fault, the NCAA says the investigation should be delayed for no more than two weeks. Notice of allegations, if there are any, will not go out until the NCAA’s internal investigation is completed.