Most of us have watched enough law-and-order television that we understand the concept of “tainted evidence.” If the blood stains were accidentally (or intentionally) mixed with someone else’s blood, they are tainted and must be thrown out as evidence. If a confession was obtained through coercion, it is tainted and must be thrown out.
Is it possible for a prosecution team to screw up so often and so badly that instead of throwing out just the tainted evidence, the judge throws out the entire case? IANAL, but I assume that can happen.
It’s not criminal law, and it’s not your standard judge and jury, but the NCAA case against Miami is so badly tainted at this point, it should be thrown out — by the NCAA itself.
Getting your main evidence from a convicted criminal with a grudge against the institution certainly shows a lack of judgment on the part of the NCAA. Using that criminal’s lawyer to ask the questions shows an amazing lack of judgment. Firing the head of the enforcement unit, but proceeding headlong with the case regardless, shows an even more amazing level of hubris.
The NCAA has kept the University of Miami twisting in the wind for years, while it tries to piece together a case. Meanwhile, the University has self-imposed a number of penalities, and most of the coaches involved in whatever took place have moved to other schools. There is nothing to be gained by raising the curtain on the amateurish production that is the NCAA’s case.
It is time for the NCAA to show the same level of humility that it expects athletes and coaches to show. It is time for the NCAA to admit it completely botched this investigation, accept Miami’s self-imposed sanctions, and close the book on this chapter.