NCAA Says UM "Took a Risk" With Rose



The NCAA came down hard on Derrick Rose and the University of Memphis in its response to the university's appeal of NCAA sanctions involving Rose.

"As for whether Rose himself 'knew or had reason to know' of the ineligibility, unfortunately we cannot be certain, but only because of Rose's failure to cooperate in the investigation. Surely the university cannot insulate itself completely from the consequences of the conduct either. Even though the university's efforts to get Rose to cooperate were commendable, his conduct still hindered the investigation considerably," according to the NCAA Committee on Infractions report released this week by the university.

The response notes that the committee chose not to impose a ban on postseason play or a scholarship reduction, but stripped the 2008 men's basketball team of its 38 wins and tournament revenues instead. If those penalties are set aside on appeal, the committee will request an opportunity "to reassess the penalties."

In other words, if the UM wants to rumble, the committee on infractions is ready. Sheri Lipman, legal counsel for the university, said UM will have a response on Monday. It will be directed to Infractions Appeals Committee, which is different from the Committee on Infractions.

The NCAA says UM admitted that it "took a risk" by playing Rose after his entrance test scores were questioned by school officials in Illinois in 2007 and subsequently reviewed and disqualified by the Educational Testing Service.

"But where is the risk if there is no substantial penalty when things go awry?" says the NCAA response, written by Jerry Parkinson, professor and dean emeritus at the University of Wyoming College of Law. "If the (appeals committee) sets aside the penalties in this case, it would send the message that an institution can take chances, even with knowledge of potential infraction problems, with impunity."

The 28-page report criticizes Rose numerous times for refusing to be interviewed or even provide handwriting samples.

"The difficulty in determining the motives or Rose, or even whether he engaged in academic fraud, is directly attributable to hisfailure to cooperate with ETS, the university, or the NCAA enforcement staff. Even if he had taken the simple ste of providing a handwriting sample, everyone would have a much better assessment of this case."

The response calls UM "a repeat violator that admits to numerous violations in men's basketball." As for the university's claim that it had no indication of problems with Rose's test scores until after the 2007-2008 season, the response says "that statement is simply false."

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