Listen, Obie Trice, Ice Cube, Cam’ron and every other rapper reading this: Let’s give the snitches a pass, just this once. If we let them slide, they could help the NCAA reel in the big fish.
Julie Roe Lach, the NCAA vice president of enforcement, hinted to CBSSports.com on Monday that the association is using limited immunity as part of its investigation of Miami. Limited immunity can be granted to “a student athlete who provides information when such individual otherwise might be declared ineligible for intercollegiate competition that he or she reports,” according to the NCAA Manual.
For a better understanding, picture any fictional police interrogation scene.
Now, who exactly could be snitching, stitch-free?
Lach made it clear that she was only speaking in broad terms, but she said prospects who receive extra benefits from one school and sign with another one aren’t pursued unless those benefits happened to come from an agent.
While gone-rogue ‘Canes fan Nevin Shapiro was involved with a sports agency, he was not an agent, so the seven players named by Yahoo! who signed elsewhere — including UF’s Andre Debose and Matt Patchan — should still be eligible, regardless of the investigation’s outcome.
But what about players who went to Miami and transferred, namely Purdue quarterback Robert Marve and Kansas State linebacker Arthur Brown? The Yahoo! report alleges that Marve, who graduated from Tampa Plant High in 2007, received a couple of dinners at an upscale Miami restaurant, at least one cash gift, food/entertainment at Shapiro’s mansion and drinks and VIP access at Miami strip clubs and nightclubs.
Brown, meanwhile, was apparently given a dinner at Benihana, a lunch, two rooms at the Continental Oceanfront Hotel, a trip to the bowling alley (yup) and drinks and “private entertainment” at a local strip club.
Both reports are backed by additional sources, credit card statements and — in Marve’s case — photos.
If the Yahoo! allegations are proven true, Marve and Brown would be looking at multi-game suspensions. Instead, both were cleared by their schools just a day after the report came out last week.
Assuming Marve and Brown can be used as pawns in the NCAA’s investigation, granting them limited immunity is the right call. In a case like this, with widespread cheating touching 72 players and spanning eight years, the target is obviously the university, not the athletes.
Pretend the NCAA put the heat on Marve and Brown. Pretend both received the most severe punishment: a ban for the rest of their careers. Big Ten bottom-dweller Purdue would lose its starting quarterback for one season; K-State would lose a linebacker with 17 tackles to his name for two.
Who cares? Their testimonies are much more valuable, especially for Marve, who never got a fair shake at The U.
So, gangster rappers (thanks for reading, by the way), can we please just overlook Marve and Brown and every other potential corroborator? I know tattling isn’t cool, but this is kind of important.
The “Stop Snitching” movement was so 2007, anyway.