Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY Sports
The NCAA will launch an external review of its own enforcement program after uncovering an issue of improper conduct during its investigation into the University of Miami, which has come under scrutiny from the NCAA since the release of a Yahoo! Sports report in 2011 that claimed 72 student-athletes received impermissible benefits from 2002-10.
As a result, the NCAA announced Wednesday that it would not move forward with its case against the university until the completion of the external investigation.
According to a release Wednesday from the NCAA, former members of its enforcement program worked with the criminal defense attorney for Nevin Shapiro, the disgraced former booster at the center of the NCAA's case, to improperly obtain information through a bankruptcy proceeding that did not involve the NCAA.
Since the NCAA does not have subpoena power, members of the enforcement staff gained information through the proceedings they would not have access to otherwise.
"I have been vocal in the past regarding the need for integrity by NCAA member schools, athletics administrators, coaches, and student-athletes," NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a release. "That same commitment to integrity applies to all of us in the NCAA national office.
"To say the least, I am angered and saddened by this situation. Trust and credibility are essential to our regulatory tasks," Emmert said. "My intent is to ensure our investigatory functions operate with integrity and are fair and consistent with our member schools, athletics staff and most importantly our student-athletes."
As part of the review, the NCAA will conduct a "thorough investigation into the current issue as well as the overall enforcement environment, to ensure operation of the program is consistent with the essential principles of integrity and accountability," read the release.
The investigation will be conducted by Kenneth L. Wainstein, a partner in a New York-based law firm and former Homeland Security advisor to President George W. Bush. Wainstein has also served as Assistant Attorney General for National Security and the FBI general counsel.
"Upon receipt of Mr. Wainstein's findings, I will take further steps as needed to assure accountability for any improper conduct," Emmert said.