Goodell Handled Rice Using His Long-Standing Primary Goal: Just Keep the Lid on It

1. The NFL Sports Hero Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card: Sports heroes like Rice have been getting preferential treatment all their lives, which often includes avoiding criminal prosecution in the same way that Rice did. Rice got a pre-trial “intervention” assignment which allowed him to avoid any prosecution at all, as long as he performed the counselling and other terms imposed. As Don Van Natta written, Rice’s opportunity to enter that program was one given by New Jersey to very few people involved in alleged criminal activity.

2. The Public Never Sees Most of those “Jail-Free” Cards When They are Played: Goodell’s actions need to be seen in that context. The public mistakenly believes that the Rice, Greg Hardy and Ray McDonald domestic violence cases are the only other ones which have recently occurred. It is much more likely that those highly publicized cases are a tip of an iceberg of many more such altercations involving NFL players, since many of the altercations get “buried,” without charge because of immediate intervention by lawyers or the NFL. Alternatively, many such charges might, like Rice’s, surface briefly, only to be relatively quickly and cleanly “negotiated away” by high-priced lawyers hired by the wealthy NFL player, with the assistance of the NFL.

3. The NFL Works Hard to Help “Bury” Any Player Criminal-charge Issues: Much has been made of the NFL’s alleged strong, if not intimate connections, with all levels of law enforcement in all regions. But most of the recent “Rice-gate” discussion about these “insider” NFL connections to law enforcement has overlooked a major reason why the NFL cultivates those connections. It’s not just, for example, to give the NFL access to the Rice video, to help the teams and Goodell then make better “disciplinary” decisions. It’s also to give the NFL brass immediate and inside information any time any “problem” — whatsoever — arises concerning any NFL player, so that the NFL and the local team can intervene with law enforcement to help bury the “problem” before it goes public.

4. Burying those Potential Player Criminal “Problems” is a Significant Part of the NFL’s Function: No one appears to have inquired, but there is a significant possibility that the NFL may have had a role in pressuring the Atlantic County DA to “bury” the Rice charges. A significant part of the NFL office’s function is to work to  “keep the lid on” any of these PR-nightmare issues. Goodell, by this analysis, was only doing in the Rice matter what he has done many other times — outside of our view — to minimize the public’s ability to know about any of a potential criminal “transgressions,” but also to help shape an outcome, as in the Rice case, which insures that it avoids criminal prosecution and convictions.

Roger Goodell has seen many more of these domestic violence disturbances come across his desk. They all appear, in varying proportion, to involve nasty behavior, which the league has strong motivation to cover-up.  Goodell sees these issue all the time, and what we saw in the Rice case was Goodell’s habitual handling of one of these many “problems” which pop up.

5. Goodell Handled Rice Using His Habitual #1 Goal: Keep the Lid on It: Goodell’s lightweight original two-game suspension of Rice was entirely consistent with the above pattern of behavior by the NFL: “keep the lid on it.” Goodell knew, as we all did, that Rice’s behavior was brutish and appalling. His job was to try to put together a tidy little package to minimize damage to all, but most of all, to minimize damage to the league’s reputation and goodwill. He clearly knew all about the “second” video, and most likely viewed it — and efforts to “keep the lid” on the case had a primary goal of insuring not only that the case would thus “go away,” but also that the public would never see that second video.  That was a gamble, and he lost the gamble.

6. If You Don’t Like This Brutish Behavior by NFL Players, Don’t Buy a Ticket or Watch: The game is built on violence; a large percentage of players who succeed in this violent game are ones who have been raised on the “language” and reality of violence. If you don’t like it, don’t go to, or watch the games. (Major League Soccer, in 19 years of existence, has never had one player charged with domestic violence.)

7. Don’t Fool Yourself: The 32 NFL teams are for-profit, private businesses, owned by private owners, who want the public to buy into the notion that “we all own the team” — which is why they work so hard to burnish the appearance of players, and to bury the “problems” which come with criminal behavior or charges. The public fools itself, by acting as if they have some ownership interest in the NFL teams, when they have none. Why should anyone care if a player has a pending criminal charge? — it doesn’t affect how, for example, Adrian Peterson does his job as a running back. By buying into this entire NFL “disciplinary” framework led by Goodell, the public denies the reality that it is all for-profit businesses which like to make the public think that there is some public ownership.

At least with respect to criminal charges (as opposed to convictions), I don’t believe a player like Adrian Peterson should be suspended — particularly if a person as wooden-headed as Goodell is the one who is supposed to decide.  If a fan objects to watching the performance on the field of a player who has merely been charged with criminal conduct, then he should take his fussy standards and buy a MLS ticket instead. Or press to make sure that movement toward public ownership of NFL teams, similar to the public ownership of the Green Bay Packers, is the norm.

Posted in Ray Rice, Roger Goodell | Leave a comment

What Ray Rice Now Needs to Do

Ray Rice has plenty of money – he signed, in 2012, a 5-year, $35 million contract with the Baltimore Ravens, including a $15,000,000 signing bonus, $15,000,000 guaranteed, and an annual average salary of $7,000,000. He now has plenty of time. He also has a bully-pulpit and, if he acts with alacrity and firmness, an opportunity to dig himself out of his hole.

Rice should:

1) immediately announce a tour, to inner-city, down-and-out locations across the country, at his own expense, to mix with, speak to, and educate young black (and other) youth about the need to avoid domestic violence. This should be at least 15 or 20 cities per month, but should also be directed toward developing a year-long plan. He should consider bringing his wife with him, but only if that’s what she wants;

2) reach out to two or three of the top women’s domestic violence-advocacy groups, to ask them what he can do to help their cause, and work with them on a plan;

3) Do not hide; in some ways, there is no place to hide.

Rice doesn’t need a glossy PR effort. He doesn’t need, and should shun, phoney Norah Campbell interviews like the one that Roger Goodell is doing now. Rice needs to do some of the street work.

The hardest part is the first step. Every one after that is easier. Action brings redemption, and every stop will bring recognition of good deeds. Ray Rice can be, on this issue, as he has been in football, a game changer. And a man among men.

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Haden, Radakovich, Gould & Alvarez: Prima Donna AD’s Who Will Corrupt Process on CFB Selection Committee?

Probity, integrity, judiciousness? — Or a Gonzo Group? Let’s look at Barry Alvarez, Pat Haden, Mike Gould, and Dan Radakovich

We don’t know much yet about how the new College Football Playoff system is going to work out, come selection time, and the 13 new members won’t meet until Oct. 28. Unfortunately, we do know more, based on events just this week, about some of the characters selected to do the selecting.

Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez: Here’s Wisconsin AD and College Football Playoff Selection Committee member Barry Alvarez, apparently yelling at a referee form the sidelines of Wisconsin’s 37-7 win over Western Illinois last Saturday.

CFB Selection Committee Member Barry Alvarez

CFB Selection Committee Member Barry Alvarez

This is maybe a tad over-the-top, but almost not worth a mention — but for other shenanigans by other “august” members of this new and untested Selection Committee.

CFB Selection Committee Member Pat Haden

CFB Selection Committee Member Pat Haden

USC AD Pat Haden: On that same day, USC AD and College Football Playoff Selection Committee member Pat Haden not only argued directly with game referees about unsportsmanlike conduct penalties which had been assessed against USC Coach Steve Sarkisian. He preceded that extraordinary intervention — I’ve never seen an AD do anything which even resembles what Haden did – by a dramatic, attention-grabbing trot all the way across the field. That trot had to have been witnessed by most fans, well-familiar with Haden’s usually genial appearance, but also by referees who also knew who he was. And those same people can be presumed to have known that Haden is now, based upon his appointment to the prestigious selection committee, one of college football’s major “heavyweights.” This was Haden “pulling rank”: using his power, status and prestige to influence the decisions made by referees employed by the PAC-12 conference. It’s fair, isn’t it, to assume that each of the referees in that game “learned their lesson” when Haden came down on the field, which was to thereafter  “lay-off” USC? And also fair to guess that those referees were also just plain stunned that any athletic director would engage in that behavior? We call this, to use the NCAA jargon, unfair “competitive advantage.” Corrupting the process.

Lt Gen. Mike Gould:  Gould, former AD at the Air Force Academy, is also a member of the new Selection Committee. If you haven’t read this superb but appalling account (from the Colarado Springs Gazette) of the lawlessness and corruption rampant within the football program at the Air Force Academy during Gould’s tenure as AD at the Academy, then you should. The investigatory piece lays out a long and disgusting pattern of sexual assault, academic cheating and other violations of the Academy’s supposed Code of Honor during Gould’s entire tenure. Remember that the NCAA’s entire regulation and enforcement model depends upon one linchpin: vigilant self-reporting by each school. Gould’s flouting of that linchpin shows that he has little or no respect for the entire process. Corrupting the process . . .

CFB Selection Committee Member Mike Gould

CFB Selection Committee Member Mike Gould

Clemson AD (and former Georgia Tech AD) Dan Radakovich: In its July 2011 Georgia Tech decision, the NCAA chastised both the GT compliance director and GT then-athletics director, Dan Radakovich (now the Clemson AD, and member of the 13-person college football playoff selection committee) for variously engaging in the “tainting” of witnesses, “hindering” of the investigation, and use of “pre-emptive contact” with witnesses. These are the descriptions by a Committee on Infractions of acts which constitute elements of corruption of process. If the testimony which was “tainted” by the actions of Radakovich and his compliance director had been sworn testimony, their actions would be considered suborning perjury.

CFB Selection Committee Member Dan Radakovich

CFB Selection Committee Member Dan Radakovich

The NCAA COI GT decision is one of a very tiny number of such “major violation” decisions where the athletic director (Radakovich) was the major violator. Most major violation cases involve players or coaches who have somehow broken the rules. In contrast, the GT violations directly arose from illegal actions taken by Radakovich while he led the school’s actions during the investigative stage.

The NCAA GT decision shows that Radakovich was insubordinate to his superior at the NCAA by intentionally breaching an explicit order of confidentiality. Radakovich’s insubordination had a direct impact upon the subsequent strange and 180-degree “change of story” by one of the players:

In November 2009, the NCAA contacted a GT Compliance officer with information that an “agent” had been spotted at GT, and that several GT football players may have received free clothing from the agent. The NCAA staffer explicitly warned the GT compliance officer that this information about agent actions could be revealed only to the GT President and AD Radakovich — and no one else.

Incredibly, only ten days later, AD Radokovich, Head Football Coach Johnson, the GT Compliance Office and the football player in question all sat in one room for a meeting. And they spoke in detail about the fact that the NCAA had information that an agent had been present and had provided free clothing to the athlete in question.

The result of this meeting?: the player in question reversed his prior admission that he’d received the clothing. That is, prior to the meeting he was forced to attend with the AD, Coach and Compliance chiefs at GT, that player had admitted that he’d gotten free clothing. After the meeting, he denied that fact.

Radakovich and the compliance officer admit that they both knew that they knew they had had a duty to keep the information confidential. Instead (to use the NCAA’s words) they “tainted” and “hindered” the NCAA investigation.

Pre-Emptive Meeting: The NCAA COI decision made much of this “pre-emptive” meeting which Radakovich and Johnson had with the player and how that prevented the NCAA from being able to make any final determination as to whether the clothing was “illegally” gotten from an agent or his runner.

Hindered the Committee: The COI found that “the staff members provided, before the NCAA could conduct their interview, information about what would be discussed in the interview,”[and that]“these actions impeded the enforcement staff investigations and hindered the committee in getting to the truth in this case. Otherwise, this case, as it pertains to the football program, would have been limited to impermissible benefits and preferential treatment violations.

Let’s stop and think about this meeting, in a way that someone at the NCAA must have seen it. These are probably the two most powerful Athletics figures at GT –the AD and football coach (along with the compliance head) – in a room with the young player. Think he’s scared? Think he knows what’s expected of him? — maybe to shade the truth?

So it’s not simply that AD Radakovich engaged in deliberate, knowing conduct which directly contravened not just several NCAA bylaws, including Bylaw 10.1. It’s more profound than that: Radakovich countermanded an explicit order by the NCAA.

The COI cited GT for a lack of cooperation during the investigation and a failure to meet the conditions and obligations of membership (among other things.) GT was given four years’ probation, a $100,000 fine, and vacation of the 2009 ACC title game. They also imposed upon Georgia Tech’s athletics operation an order of “Public reprimand and censure.”

Finally, and as is common, the COI reflexively ordered all kinds of rules “education”, including the requirement that Radakovich attend a mandatory NCAA rules education seminar in 2012 (even though there was no evidence that Radakovich’s intentional acts were the result of any “misunderstanding” of the rules).

Days after the COI decision, Radakovich took a “we-did-nothing-wrong” stance.

1. “We cooperated fully during process.”  (Compare this to the “pre-emptive meeting”,  “tainted” evidence, or “hindered” [access] to the truth” findings by the NCAA.)

2. “We don’t agree with the report and its findings.

3. “Georgia Tech should not be placed in a position where its integrity is challenged.”

4. “We disagree but we will move forward.

Contrary to these assertions, there are many indications that Radakovich’s entire department was, in 2011, completely out of control. The COI found, as just one example, “The former general counsel was not the only person… who conveyed a combative attitude toward the investigation. The [NCAA Investigator] …. needed supervisory support at some interviews because of the attitude of the institution’s representation.” In addition, the Head Basketball Coach was fired prior to the NCAA decision, and violations in both football and basketball operations were addressed in the COI decision.

Radakovich is, apparently, a man comfortable in his own sin. But his behavior in these events, as a center-stage actor in a major violation involving subversion of the process which all members schools have agreed to, should make anyone very uncomfortable about the prospect of having him involved in any highly sensitive, nationally-oriented selection process. In fact, the clearly unethical behavior exhibited by Radakovich, along with similar major ethical breaches recently by Jim Tressel (fraud) and Jo Pa (concealment of evidence), are three major examples revealing that the entire Self-Reporting obligation which is the linchpin of the NCAA framework must now be presumed broken.

More to the point, if Radokovich will, as he did at GT, intentionally breach confidences he had a clear professional duty to maintain, should he be entrusted with highly confidential, if not publicly volatile information developed or discussed by the selection committee? If he will engage in efforts to illicitly “taint” or “hinder” process or evidence, is he suitable for a selection committee which must be beyond reproach? Isn’t the mere presence of this “taint” from the GT decision enough to disqualify him from consideration for the selection committee?

Finally, Radakovich intentionally “blew up” the team to which he had a higher duty: a “team” which should’ve been formed, cooperatively with the NCAA, and which should have included Radakovich, to investigate any GT violations. Instead, he subverted that team, apparently for his own interest. And he still apparently fails to comprehend the nature of gravity of his violation.  Radakovich: a team player?

But that’s not the end of the story. Look back at this haughty, condescending comment by Cowboy Radakovich immediately after the NCAA’s 2011 decision, which established that Radakovich’s department, and Radakovich, had been cited for preferential treatment violations, a lack of cooperation during the investigation and a failure to meet the conditions and obligations of membership.

“I think that’s where they feel (the investigation) started,” Radakovich said. “I’ve been working with coaches for 25 years, and I think it’s important that you have a relationship with coaches. And while in this particular circumstance I should’ve picked up the telephone and made a call — and I probably could’ve convinced the (NCAA) individual that this was important for me to do. I’ve worked with other investigators who wouldn’t have had a problem with that, so I think that’s part of the other growth and understanding process you go through when you have these issues at hand.”

This is Radakovich making manifest that the rules do not apply to him because he knows better than anyone, including the NCAA’s COI, what is really important:  “hav[ing] a relationship with coaches” and, avoiding the awful bad luck, we all should know, of not getting to work with “an investigator who who wouldn’t have a problem with” [the tainting of witnesses].

Keep the above Cowboy Radakovich quote in mind as you consider what the NCAA just did on September 4 , 2014, announcing a new set of penalties, including extending GT’s probation for another two years (to June 13, 2017), for repeated events which took place while Radakovich was still the AD at GT. Repeated impermissible phone calls were made in the two revenue sports, football and basketball. Some of the calls were made only three days before Radakovich and other GT sports managers appeared before the Committee on Infractions in April 2011. In all, GT coaches made at least 478 impermissible calls and sent at least 299 impermissible text messages to a total of 140 prospects.

New GT AD Mike Bobinski, hired after Radakovich left for Clemson in 2013, and apparently not too pleased with Radakovich’s out-of-control operation, said, “”What transpired in 2011-12 and the ‘failure to monitor’ finding are not things that sit well with me or with any of us here at Georgia Tech.”

What a trail. Radakovich “taints” witnesses, and “hinders” the investigation. Then takes the attitude, even after he’s been called out by the NCAA COI using extraordinary terms indicating corruption of process, that he and GT did absolutely nothing wrong.  Might there have been a logical conclusion drawn by the basketball and football coaches at GT, in the face of Radakovich’s bluster, that all these NCAA rules are ridiculous, should be ignored, and that the coaches should just keep right on (illegally) dialing recruits phone numbers?  These new facts suggest that Radakovich (and his department) were even more out of control than we had known, and that Radakovich was directly responsible for every sanction imposed upon GT.

Probity, integrity, judiciousness? Or “pulling rank;” unfairly using status and power to influence an outcome; obliviousness to rules and rule-breaking;  tainting and hindering witnesses. Corrupting the process . . .

Unfortunately, we’re seeing more evidence that at least three of the Selection Committee members are prima donna cowboys, who believe the rules don’t apply to them.

Posted in Barry Alvarez, College Football Selection Committee, Dan Radakovich, Mike Gould, Pat Haden | Leave a comment

Ray Rice’s Cold Indifference: His Fist Could’ve Killed His Fiance

My first thought upon watching the stunning video of Ray Rice clobbering his fiance in the elevator had to do with Jack Dempsey’s comment before his Independence Day 1919 heavyweight championship fight in Toledo, Ohio against 245-lb behemoth and Kansas farmer Jess Willard: “This guy is liable to kill me. I’m twenty-four years old and I might get killed.”

Ray Rice's Deadly Weapons

Ray Rice’s Deadly Weapons

Ray Rice, he of the massive biceps and low center of gravity, could’ve instilled the same fear in his fiance: “This guy is liable to kill me.” And Rice should’ve known, before he landed the blow, that his hand had the capacity to kill; his indifference to that risk jumps out at the viewer of the video.

But his conduct after the blow is almost as reprehensible. I can only guess that some men, upon striking an alleged loved one, in the heat of passion, might immediately regret the act, and run to the aid of the stricken female. Rice’s continued indifference is obvious and palpable on the video. He just stood there, staring. He dragged “the body” out of the elevator. Then stared. Then decided to move its two legs closer together. No tears. No beseeching, apparently, passersby or others to help, or to get help. He just stood there, and did nothing, while his fiance was stretched out, motionless. She could have been dead, for all Rice appeared to have known or cared. We have seen a window into Ray Rice’s black, entirely indifferent soul.

The video perhaps gives more context to the fiance’s “regret” allegedly expressed to Roger Goodell, as a part of her (apparently) successful attempt to persuade Goodell to be lenient on her fiance. Well, if you were that tiny fiance, might you now be terrified of what Rice would do to you if you didn’t join in his effort to get leniency from the commissioner?

Finally, I find the timing of Roger Goodell’s announcement of a new domestic violence policy at least a tad interesting. He’d been hammered repeatedly in the press for his inept handling of the Rice issue, up until his announcement of the new policy on August 28, only 10 days before the new video surfaced; might that new policy have been issued only because Goodell’s people had some information that TMZ was going to leak the “elevator-interior” video?

Goodell has made a huge problem even bigger. This now-viral video languishes out there, suggesting to millions of young men that this kind of abuse of females warrants only a tiny slap on the wrist. But Goodell has shot his wad, and is left with few new options. He needs to pressure the Ravens to utilize their own team rules to suspend Rice for the remaining portion of the season.

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Why Should I Care What Colt’s Jim Irsay Does, or is Fined?

I am baffled by the premise behind the fine and suspension levied upon Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay. I understand it is within the commissioner’s authority — but it makes no sense to me.  Fines and suspensions are for players, ostensibly to penalize them for: 1) their use of performance-enhancing (read: competitive-advantage-creating) drugs; 2) giving the public the impression that they are anything less than the choir boys that the public wants as heroes.

But Irsay is not gaining “competitive advantage” with his druggin’ and drinkin’ and other malversations. And no one looks to him for heroic, saintly athletic accomplishment. He owns a for-profit business, which has arranged a very profitable “profit-sharing” arrangement with all the other team owners, the combination of which goes by the name “National Football League.”  I might guess that being an owner of a for-profit business, while behaving badly in his personal life might puts him in the majority category of for-profit business owners.

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49’ers McDonald, Roger Goodell and Domestic Violence Due Process: How Duke Lax Lesson Solves Goodell’s Dilemma

Now Roger Goodell is going to have to decide whether to apply the Duke Lax Lesson to his recently-announced player domestic violence policy. After having done a face-plant in his handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence matter, Goodell announced, to much fanfare last week, his plan to impose a six-game suspension for player domestic violence first offenses, and then a one-year-to lifetime ban for repeat offenders.

GoodellPhoto090114

What Goodell’s new policy failed to spell out was the precise circumstances under which those penalties would apply. On one extreme, would they be imposed only after criminal convictions for domestic violence-related offenses? Or, on the other extreme, would they be applied as soon as any charge is raised by a female, or by criminal authorities? Continue reading

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Under Goodell’s New Domestic Violence Policy, Ray Rice Could’ve Gotten No Penalty

Roger Goodell is to be complimented for admitting that he made a mistake in meting out only a two-game suspension to Raven’s running back Ray Rice for Rice’s role in apparently knocking his wife out cold in a casino.

But Goodell’s new Domestic Violence Policy is so full of holes that, if it were applied to the very same Rice wife-beating event (which it won’t be), the new policy would allow to impose no suspension at all.  This is because the policy does not define whether penalties kick in only after a criminal conviction is entered establishing that an assault or other crime occurred. Ray Rice was not convicted of any crime associated with the domestic violence in question.

Goodell and other commissioners have many reasons for wanting to let the criminal justice system play out to conviction or acquittal, before imposing any league-related penalties. After all, in many cases (particularly where there exists no shocking video like the one we saw of Rice dragging his wife out of the elevator) the evidence is hard to get at, and conflicting. So Goodell clearly crafted this new policy to allow him to wait until after the criminal justice system has finally acted, before imposing any league penalty on the player.  So we have to wait and see how Goodell uses this new policy to know whether it will make a significant difference.

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Whither Wainstein UNC Review? Hard-hitting Freeh-Style, or UMiami and FISA Court White-Shoe Tap-Dance?

Kenneth L. Wainstein, Esq., of the Cadwalader white-shoe law firm, has done more than merely author the the by-now notorious UMiami “prudential concerns” report of February 2013 commissioned by NCAA President Mark Emmert. [see my prior posts,I Repeat: NCAA “Enforcement Review” by Cadwalader Found NO Violations”, , and 'The Fatuous NCAA Enforcement Review Report: Julie Roe Lash Got Bagged to Save Emmert and Remy or 'NCAA/Miami Prudential Concerns vs. NCAA/UConn Knowing Violation of Federal Statutory Mandates; also my post on a broader issue: "Tressel-Paterno-Freeh-Peppers, a 1924 Constitution, and Raggedy-Ann Doll Compliance" on why NCAA enforcement is a sham.]

The Wainstein Miami report found that NCAA staffers violated some airy, never-cited “prudential concerns” during their investigation of earlier allegations of serious NCAA bylaw violations by UMiami. As I pointed out in those posts, Wainstein clearly figured it all out: Emmert had, the previous autumn, jumped the due-process gun by excoriating staff –  in the absence of evidence of wrongdoing. If Wainstein had been honest (as Louis Freeh was at Penn State), he’d have said that Emmert jumped the gun. Instead, Wainstein tap-danced his way through, wearing his “prudential concern” tu-tu, and diverted everyone’s attention. His “white-shoe tap-dance,”gave Emmert cover, and I’m betting Emmert called someone at UNC to tell them: “Hire Emmert, he’ll give you the ‘ole corporate cover.

Wainstein knows about corporate cover. He served as former General Counsel and as Chief of Staff to the FBI Director, and also as a assistant attorney general for national security between 2006 and 2008, all in the Bush administration, and has had a central role in establishing the now-controversial authority of the FISA court which has, it is fair to conclude, rubber-stamped almost every request from the National Security Administration since 2007.

Much of this controversy, and the NSA’s breathtakingly broad interpretation of its’ powers, has it’s genesis in Wainstein’s legal opinions seven years ago, when the jury-rigged old FISA procedure was cast in stone as a direct result of Wainstein’s work.  Wainstein’s role is described below in this July 4, 2013 Washington Post story [also here is Wainstein's FISA opinion]:

“Guardian also disclosed a November 2007 memorandum prepared for then-Attorney General Michael Mukasey by Kenneth Wainstein, who was in charge of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. On behalf of the NSA, Wainstein requested that the attorney general approve a powerful form of computer-assisted analysis of U.S. persons’ metadata, including their phone and e-mail records, as well as Internet Protocol addresses of individual computers. This information was obtained “by various methods, including pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act,” the memo states.”

“NSA has in its databases a large amount of communications metadata associated with persons in the United States,” the memo states.”

“In the memo, Wainstein argued, as other government officials have over the years and continue today, that metadata is not content, and therefore is not subject to protections under the Fourth Amendment. ” [Emphasis added]

Refer, in fact, to Wainstein’s 2013 testimony (at 1:45)  about the FISA court, and his wooden notion that, because our well-established fourth amendment case law allows a prosecutor to obtain an ex parte warrant as regards a case against one person (which means the prosecutor shows up on his own, doesn’t even have to tell the other party, and gives his version as to why the judge ought to approve the wiretap or warrant) means that the current NSA practice of obtaining ex parte FISA court warrants to allow tapping/review/collation of data or metadata pertaining to millions or billions of people all at one time is entirely appropriate.

Stop and think a minute: might a fair, logical mind suggest that, with so many people’s data involved, such an ex parte procedure is highly suspect and, in light of the fact that millions or billions of people’s right are being trammeled, those masses ought be heard when the warrant or intrusion is requested – ex parte – by a self-serving governmental agency?

To what extent did Wainstein’s past (and current) support of the NSA meta-surveillance require Wainstein to hide in the bushes for higher-ups, to satisfy his own careerist motives, before protecting the interests of the average American citizen?

Maybe Wainstein will pull a Louis Freeh, and come out swinging with an honest UNC review. To do that, he’ll have to break free of his past pattern.

 

Posted in Ken Wainstein, NCAA Enforcement, NCAA Investigation, NCAA Violations, UNC Academic Fraud | Leave a comment

K-State’s Bill Snyder is Miss Piggy: “Sanctimonious? – Moi?

Look, by almost every account, K State Head Coach Bill Snyder is a wonderful man, who has done some wonderful things. And he’s 74. But he’s just now been seized by a second paroxysm of sanctimony.

The first one happened last April. when Snyder observed that “We’ve allowed it to become money-driven. We’ve allowed it to become TV-driven. We’ve allowed athletic programs or football programs to mean more to a university than what the university was really supposed to be all about. The last I heard, these were educational institutions, and that’s what it needs to be about. … It’s not driven by values. … It’s driven by dollars and cents, and that’s unfortunate.”

This, from a not “unfortunate” man who, only months earlier in 2013, had signed a new contract to coach amateur ‘student-athletes’ at a not-for-profit public school for 14.75 million dollars. Yes, that’s almost fifteen million.

When I read this last spring it called to mind a scene where the home burglar is interrupted mid-burglary by the unexpected return of the homeowner, and then blurts out, “You know, the cops are so incompetent around here, I just had to break in  — but SOMEONE’S got to put a stop to all this crime, for once and for all!”

Now, at today’s opening of K-State’s fall camp, he’s apparently in the midst of his second paroxysm of sanctimony, announcing that universities have “sold out” and that “It’s changed. I mean, college athletics, football in particular, has changed dramatically over the years,” Snyder said. “I think we’ve sold out. We’re all about dollars and cents. The concept of college football no longer has any bearing on the quality of the person, the quality of students. Universities are selling themselves out.”

It’s almost too much to bear. The fifteen-million dollar man talking about “selling-out.” Here he is, a man at the end of his career, richer than a caliph, and he doesn’t even have the courage to commit to any proposed radical change of a pathological system. When, to use coaching jargon, are you going to “buy-into” real change, Mr. Snyder? When will you do anything more than vaguely identify the problem?

Snyder’s taken the easy way out, preserving only his appearance of probity.

Sanctimonious – Moi?

 

 

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Why Germany Clobbered Brazil 7-1 – WSJ on German Soccer Big Data, http://on.wsj.com/W2J8LL

MuellerGermB

The Germans’ analysis of  “Big Data” derived from detailed video monitoring of thousands of data points per second pertaining to each player’s on-field activity, using a proprietary system called “Match Insights,” allowed them to eventually decide to emphasize team speed. As a result, they cut their average time of possession from 3.4 to 1.1 seconds. Also as a result, though Brazil actually possessed the ball more than Germany (52% of playing time), the Brazilians had almost no opportunities to score.

It appears that the Match Insights analytical tool may soon be available to others. See this excellent article at: http://on.wsj.com/W2J8LL

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