Why the Mysterious Missing “Three Amigos” (RR, Labadie, Draper) Texts are Important

[Sum:  UM Investigation was rendered almost meaningless by lack of any info about communications amongst the Three Amigos – RR, Draper, Labadie – because RR had no UM email.  RR most likely texted on a Blackberry with them, but Investigators never got the texts, and never questioned the Three — who worked daily together at Schembechler –  about who said and knew what during the 18 mo. of the NCAA Violations. The appearance is that UM Investigators just didn’t want to know, and that the NCAA doesn’t care about this critical issue which would allow one to better judge whether the Practice-Time and  Coach-Number violation were in fact, at RR’s instruction or acquiescence.]

As we point out in our previous post, it is almost certain that Rich Rod has a Blackberry which he uses to text everywhere. We all know it’s easy to resurrect  those texts — you must recall what went on with Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his paramour/assistant.  So why didn’t the NCAA or UM go get all of RR’s past texts, and use them in their effort to reconstruct who did what – and who knew what, when?  There was no need for a subpoena — UM made much of the fact that they were “cooperating fully” with the NCAA investigation, and that they had “self-imposed” sanctions, in advance of the NCAA’s findings (more later on the vapid, useless “corrective action” items listed by UM in their Filing), so their producing copies of those RR text messages would have been stronger evidence of the “voluntariness” of their “cooperation” in coughing up clearly relevant evidence.

The only explanation is that UM didn’t want anyone to see those text messages. They were playing cat-and-mouse with the NCAA.  Perhaps the NCAA was dumb enough to not ask for them? Or perhaps the NCAA is not actually the aggressive prosecutor it makes itself out to be? — after all, these investigations are akin to a supervisory body of the Elks or Masons generating an investigation of a longstanding member, who happens also to feed alot of money into the Elks or Masons coffers:  do they really want to get to the sordid bottom of it all?

If UM was so interested in being entirely “cooperative” and “forthcoming”, why weren’t RR’s texts printed out and produced?  In the absence of any good reason, one is drawn to the same conclusion which is necessitated (as pointed out in earlier posts) by reading the entire UM Filing: UM wanted to muddy, not clear, the waters.

But why should we care?  The answer is in the Timeline, and I know you don’t want to read the whole thing, it’s just too long and involved.  (Let me stop you: neither UM nor RR provided a Timeline, they didn’t want your eyes to open wide the way they must when you read the whole thing.) So I’ll relieve you of the burden.  Here’s why:  there exists a giant sucking vacuum in the entire story, whether told by RR or UM.   No one has a clue what ANY communications were between and amongst the “Three Amigos” –  Rich Rod, Brad Labadie, his Dir. of FB Ops who worked directly under him at Schembechler Hall, and Asst Ad for FB, Scott Draper, who also worked down the hall from Draper.   Let me repeat: there is zero info about any communications between RR and Labadie, and between RR and Draper, for about 20 months. Nothing. A giant, sucking hole.  And this among Three Amigos who worked together everyday, in the same building.  Any good attorney, in the absence of any such email or text track record, would have spent hours inquiring of Labadie, Draper and RR about the specifics of every oral conversation they had about events directly pertinent to the (now-admitted) NCAA violations.   And we don’t say this lightly.

For example, a good attorney – not even an excellent attorney — would have had RR on the stand for a half day just asking about one topic:  all conversations he had with Labadie about CARA forms. All of them.  No, in fact, it would have been a whole day. On that one topic.

Instead, the NCAA spent just 7.5 hours inquiring of RR in the entirety!

The UM and RR Filing try to ignore this giant sucking vacuum sound, which is the absence of information about what was said amongst Draper, Labadie and RR.  The hole is so huge that the NCAA ought ask for another submission from UM.

Here’s the next reason why that information is so important: any fair reading of the Timeline makes any reasonable reader wonder about whether Labadie’s and Draper’s “crashing” of the entire practice-time and “coaching-count” system was at the explicit request of, or with the quiet acquiesence of, Rich Rodriguez.  The whole thing stinks.  Greasy kid stuff.  But that’s Rich Rodriguez.

So does this make the NCAA curious?  Do the UM investigators want to get to the bottom of it?  The answer is no, then no.  They both want to proceed with a huge, sucking vacuum in their factual base.

So there’s your explanation: the investigation, by the NCAA, or by UM, is weak-kneed, and couldn’t come close to hitting the way Lamar Woodley does.

Hey, Draper’s still there at Schembechler Hall (can you believe it?)   Call him up, ask him about it all.  He’s a public employee.

About brewonsouthu

lawyer, with interest in college sports and NCAA oversight and decisions, and sports generally.
This entry was posted in Bill Martin, David Brandon, Mary Sue Coleman, Michigan Football, NCAA Investigation, NCAA sanctions, NCAA Violations, Quality Control Coaches, Rich Rodriguez, Uncategorized, University of Michigan, West Virginia Football, WVU Football and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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