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Dr. WILLIAMS. I am afraid I missed the first part of your question. Mr. SANTINI. Did you make a determination that you would not ontest on appeal those findings by the committee on infractions that vere supported by the evidence ?
Dr. WILLIAMS. Yes, sir.
Dr. SCARBOROUGH. However, we did appeal the penalties thereto in ome of those cases because those were placed on individuals and we ielt we had to do that. We felt we had to appeal those.
Mr. SANTINI. While you were not contesting the factual finding of violation, you did contest the penalty that was imposed with regard to those violations because you felt it was too onerous or unfair?
Dr. SCARBOROUGH. Right.
Mr. SANTINI. Did Mr. Walter Byers play an active role in your appeal hearing.
Dr. WILLIAMS. Not to my knowledge.
Mr. SANTINI. You have used expressions in the course of your prepared testimony—and I wrote it down but I didn't catch the page where you said that you felt the committee on infractions and the investigative staff were “almost together” at that committee on infractions hearing. What specifically did you mean by that?
Dr. HOEFER. At the infractions committee hearing it was evident that there had been discussions between the investigative staff and the infractions commitee. They were taking their directions from the infractions committee. So there was an association, not an independence that we think should have existed between the investigative staff and the jury hearing the case.
That caused a great deal of uneasiness on our part as we responded to the specific allegations and then heard the response given by the infractions committee and the kind of exchange which took place between the infractions commitee and the investigative staff.
Mr. SANTINI. Could you give some illustrations of that kind of an exchange to which you referred just now!
Dr. HOEFER. I do not know that I can give any specifics at this time. Again, it has been almost 2 years ago when this took place. We have not had access to the information.
Dr. WILLIAMS. In the case that we are discussing now, I thin I might be able to give one. This is quite glaring. I would like to point this out, Mr. Chairman.
The close relationship with which the infractions committee works with its team of investigators over a period of time seems, at least to us, to give in the eyes of the infractions committee a credibility to the investigators that is not accorded to the people who represent the charged university. There is that rather disturbing factor.
Mr. SANTINI. So your impression and conclusion was that not only were you presumed guilty, but you were also presumed to be either lying or misinformed. Is that right?
Dr. WILLIAMS. That was the way we felt, yes. The case that I am thinking of is the Harrington travel case. In that case the investigator went to great lengths to point out why the recommendations of assistant coaches to the effect that student-athletes did have the ability to pay bills and therefore should be given a time period in which to pay the cost of their flight—they equated
that with special treatment of student-athletes and the equivalent of financial aid.
Despite the fact that we pointed out as professors in the university that frequently we do that same thing for nonathletes with whom we are acquainted, Berst argued that in view of the fact that these assistant coaches did not do the same thing for the whole student body, then that was special treatment.
It is not likely that the Harrington travel agency would go to an assistant coach in the Michigan State University Athletic Department to ask for a statement regarding the financial responsibility of a major in English. That major in English would probably ask his advisor or a professor who knew him well and could establish that. Frequently in letters of recommendation and statements that we make to people, we make that same kind of recommendation: “Yes, this man is straightforward and dependable and reliable. We have no reason to believe that you have to fear.”
As a mater of fact, we make those recommendations when we recommend people for government positions. Dr. SCARBOROUGH.
It was also pointed out in that particular case by one of our assistant coaches that there were certain people he did not recommend.
Mr. SANTINI. What was the response when you presented the polygraph evidence to the fact that all you had at best was past recollection recorded, perhaps hearsay on hearsay on hearsay from an investigator establishing the sole basis for a particular charge? You came in on the other hand and offered polygraph evidence. How was that evidence received ?
Dr. WILLIAMS. Of course, it was immediately pointed out that polygraph evidence was not admissible in many courts of the land. Our lawyer pointed out also that in some cases courts did accept polygraph tests.
Mr. SANTINI. So, although you were continually reminded that you were not subject to rules of law and it was not a judicial proceeding, in this instance they go to a judicial ruling as a justification? Was anything else said?
Dr. WILLIAMS. I think probably the most incredible thing in this particular matter occurred in the appeal hearing, when the chairman of the infractions committee, speaking on behalf of the NCAA, admonished the members of the council that polygraph tests were accurate only about 80 percent of the time.
Mr. SANTINI. Only accurate 80 percent of the time.
Dr. Wiliams. So NCAA has 20 percent and MSU has 80 percent and MSU loses.
Mr. SANTINI. Probably you had better odds than some who have pursued their rights in the appeal process of the NCAA with 80_20 odds.
Gentlemen, I want to thank you for sharing your testimony with us.
On page 2, gentlemen, of the prepared testimony under the heading "questionable practices of the NCAA investigator," could you identify the investigator in question?
Dr. WILLIAMS. David Berst.
Mr. WUNDER. Let's stick with threats and intimidation. What form lid the threats take? How were they manifested!
Dr. WILLIAMS. We were told that two of our student athletes were warned by Mr. Berst because he did not believe what they were saying. He indicated they had better cut out that—and he used a dirty four-letter word. He said, “Tell the truth or else it is going to be much harder on you." In other words, he did not believe that their statements were cedible.
Either Dr. Wharton forgot or did not regard that as a threat but I would regard it as a threat.
Mr. WUNDER. Does that type of remark to which you just referred cover both threats and intimidation !
Dr. WILLIAMS. I would think so. Mr. WUNDER. That is the threats and intimidation. Dr. WILLIAMS. I guess it is a matter of interpretation. Dr. HOEFER. I think we have to understand the atmosphere under which they are dealing. They are dealing with people 17 to 19 years of age. An investigator comes around and the youngster has notions of playing and making a career in athletics. The tone and style of questions and the implied threat is there that if they do not tell the truth, then such and such will happen. This has to be taken into account in the interpretation.
Mr. WUNDER. How should they do it? How should an NCAA investigator do it? He obviously has to go to the student.
Dr. HOEFER. I have great sympathy for the inrestigator. I have great sympathy with that procedure. I have sympathy for the objectives. We do not have a good solution to it.
On the other hand, we feel strongly that they ought not destroy the opportunity for people to develop their talents and to experience that.
Mr. WUNDER. Thank you.
If you will notice the chronology of events, we were apparently the investigation began in April of 1974we were appointed as a committee after the board meeting after April 15.
The first series of interviews were done with these young men without anyone present or having any knowledge of it from the university. This is one of the violations of due process that we feel did
Mr. SANTINI. On page 2 and the followthough of your prepared testimony you said, “We were also told that the same investigator”— and I assume that means Mr. David Berst!
Dr. WILLIAMS. Yes.
made statements about MSU infractions of NCAA regulations which caused us to believe that he had prejudiced
What were those statements ? Dr. WILLIAMS. That was to a representative of the University's athletic interest who told us that Mr. Berst had said that he had enough on MSU to make formal charges and, once he got into a case
and made formal charges, he never lost one. He was talking to a lawyer, and the lawyer said that he never lost one either. There was that exchange.
If I remember correctly, that got into the newspapers. It certainly got to us. I would have to check to be certain about the newspapers.
Mr. SANTINI. But you are certain as to the identity of the investigator?
Dr. WILLIAMS. Oh. yes.
Mr. SANTINI. And you are certain as to the conclusions, threats, intimidations, or vulgarity to secure information!
Dr. WILLIAMS. Yes. In the case of two student athletes, based on what we were told, yes.
Mr. SANTINI. Gentlemen, I thank you very much for your panel's presentation to this committee. We have imposed beyond the bounds of expected time limits. I appreciate your endurance and your testimony here. You have made an important contribution to what I hope will be some important new directions for NCAA investigation and operation. Thank you very much. The commitee is adjourned.
(Whereupon, at 4:40 p.m., the subcommitee adjourned, subject to the call of the chair.]
NCAA ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM
MONDAY, MARCH 13, 1978
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10 a.m., in room 2123, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. John E. Moss, chairman, presiding.
Mr. Moss. The subcommittee will be in order.
We continue this morning with our inquiry into the enforcement procedures and practices of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
We started 2 weeks ago with serious charges of procedural deficiencies resulting in the manifest unfairness to institutions and individuals. I note in the press that the hard skepticism with which some observers at first viewed those charges has been softening remarkably as the days go by.
In our second day of hearings a fortnight ago we heard from no less than 10 witnesses-coaches, athletes, alumni and distinguished university administrators—who expressed surprise and disappointment over the alleged unfairness of the NCAA enforcement system when once they encountered it; bewilderment and frustration over their inability to effectively deal with it; and, for some of them, bitterness over the sheer harshness of the system.
It was not lost on us either that some of those witneses were extremely reluctant to testify before this subcommittee for fear of offending the NCAA. It is becoming increasingly apparent that trouble with the NCAA is trouble indeed, and that no one encounters it confidently.
Today we hear from representatives of another of this country's great institutions of higher learning, the University of Minnesota. We welcome the university's president, Dr. Peter Magrath, and its vice president, Dr. Stanley Kegler, both of whom have statements. Joining President Magrath and Vice President Kegler at the witness table will be Minnesota's athletic director, Paul Giel; two present student athletes, Mychal Thompson and David Winey; and a former student athlete at Minnesota, Phillip Saunders, presently basketball coach at Golden Valley Lutheran College in Minneapolis.
A little later today we will hear from another former student athlete, Reed Larson, who continues his athletic career as a professional hockey player with the Detroit Red Wings. Testifying with Mr. Larson will be Ronald L. Simon, Esq. an atorney from Minneapolis.