The Norman Transcript

National Sports

February 19, 2013

NCAA making staff changes

(Continued)

INDIANAPOLIS —

The report said Najjar, who left the NCAA last spring, assured Lach and Tom Hosty, the managing director of enforcement, that the legal staff had approved the deal when it had not. Najjar did not return phone messages Monday night.

The NCAA didn’t figure out what happened, the report said, until Perez billed the NCAA $57,115 for hours in August. By that time, the NCAA had already paid out approximately $10,500 to Perez in expenses.

Wainstein called Lach cooperative and said nothing the external investigators found called her integrity into question. Lach did not immediately respond to a message left by The Associated Press on her cellphone.

“The actions we are taking today are clearly consistent with holding people accountable for their behavior,” Emmert said. “If the executive committee believes some disciplinary action needs to be taken toward me, then I’m sure they will.”

The incident has been an embarrassing blow to the NCAA, which is fending off a number of lawsuits and is the target of sharp criticism in some quarters for the penalties it handed to Penn State following the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal. And Wainstein will now embark on the second part of the investigation, which could include looking into previous NCAA infractions cases and suggesting ways to prevent another rogue case.

“I don’t have any specific recommendations now,” Wainstein said. “But as President Emmert said, I’m a former prosecutor and I’ve managed prosecutions and investigations for the better part of 20 years, so I’m going to suggest some ideas that I import from that context.”

Emmert already has two new ideas.

He suggested putting together a committee to hear what amounts to a preliminary case before moving forward, and perhaps adding an ombudsman to the NCAA staff. Emmert later said he’s not sure how that would work though he acknowledged an ombudsman would need some power.

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