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By Richard Linde, Posted March 1, 2005

For months now, we’ve pointed out that the NCAA violated at least one of its Bylaws when it blindsided Rick Neuheisel. Rick’s attorney, Bob Sulkin, noted those violations in a couple of his documents written months ago, the effect of which gave us courage to read the updated Bylaws manual, fortuitously not the old version, and pursue that Bylaw in our articles.

Apparently, no one was listening, especially the Seattle media and the NCAA, which erroneously introduced the outdated version of the bylaw into discovery. Prior to the trial, not one local columnist, to my knowledge, when writing about the Neuheisel gambling imbroglio mentioned that the NCAA may have violated at least one of its own bylaws when it blindsided Neuheisel. Maybe they were reading the wrong version of the bylaw. Perhaps partly buoyed by media and public support, the UW overreacted to the so-called “lies” in the morning session, and then hilariously claimed it was firing Neuheisel for just lying.

Not to mention or question this alleged violation by the NCAA prior to the trial is arguably a case of media bias, whether unintentional or intentional, against Neuheisel. But that’s another matter. Bias runs willy-nilly in much of the media; most of the columnists in Seattle had made up their minds about Rick when he first game to town in 1999 and never budged an inch off their obvious dislike. Rick was a “big-time” coach, being paid a “big-time” salary, all in a “big-time” college football milieu, which by their definition is corrupt.

Likewise, the vagueness of the Bylaw on gambling (10.3) was never mentioned by anyone in the Seattle print media as far as I know. If the media fail to present all the facts in their stories, how do they expect the public to make informed opinions when they poll them? Hence, the reason for our publishing the Neuheisel Chronicles, which appears on this website.

I have a copy of the current NCAA Bylaws Manual in my library, as every loyal UW supporter should have in his/her own. “Woo, they’re out to get us,” the Seattle media will contemptuously say of us, while wringing their hands – so hide your copy well.

When I told former coach Keith Gilbertson I had recently purchased a copy of the NCAA Bylaws Manual, he looked dumbfounded, then lugubriously at me. Are all of our fans nuts, he might have thought; or, maybe, for God's sake, what have we done to them? Of course, you can get it on the web for free, but that's a lot of printing and hole punching if you want the whole nuanced tome.

Specifically, Bylaw 32.3.7 (shaded in gray), states, “…Prior to an interview arranged, or initiated by the enforcement staff, a student-athlete or staff member shall be advised that if the individual has violated the NCAA ethical legislation such an allegation may be forthcoming…(Revised: 4/24/03)

According to an article written by Bud Withers of the Seattle Times, “Sulkin argued in his written motion, ‘Neuheisel has lost the opportunity to prepare and present his case against the university by showing that one of its central themes — that subjects of investigations should be fully forthcoming even when surprised with allegations relating to potential criminal conduct — is flawed.’”

Apparently, Rick Neuheisel should have been given advance notice of the topic. The Bylaw, 32.3.6, preceding the one in question, states that Neuheisel was entitled to “representation by legal council.”

I wish to thank DP for cc’ing me the following e-mail, which is an open letter he sent to Bob Sulkin, Neuheisel’s attorney.

“Dear Mr. Sulkin,

“I am a longtime UW Husky fan and want to express my support for Rick Neuheisel in his struggle, both against the UW and NCAA.

“It was clear to intelligent Dawgfans, well before Rick’s arrival, that Barbara Hedges had the ethics of a virus and that the same could be said for the NCAA as an institution. I am tempted to digress here with diatribes in both those directions, but I suspect I would be preaching to the choir.

“I met Rick in the stands right before his initial Spring Game and expressed a kind of ambivalence (‘we’ll get used to you’) that, I think, surprised, and disappointed him. At the time, Rick was the ‘Barbara Hedges wunderkind’. We had just seen the second wave of destruction Barbara had wreaked on the program; the second of the four coaches she would destroy, the first three of whom are now, despite her, on the top ten list for winning percentage in the schools history. Rick, of course, would eventually become the third. Barbara inherited a national championship machine that went 11-0, totally dominating West Coast football and left, in its place, a legacy of decimation that reduced Husky football to a 1-10 season last year. Perhaps Rick could now understand the initial reticence in embracing him.

“In any case, I would like to express my admiration to Rick for standing up to the (alleged) corruption in the program and wish him the best of luck in the lawsuit. I would also like the opportunity to do so personally, if he is available in some venue.

“It is only through the success of lawsuits like Rick’s that the raw, corrupt power of the NCAA cartel can be reigned in and bureaucrats of baser motive exposed.

“Sincerely, DP”

Richard Linde (a.k.a., Malamute) can be reached at malamute@4malamute.com

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