How the outdated bylaw got entered in discovery
By Richard Linde,
Updated 11 March 2005
from floor to ceiling, inch-thick manuals pillar the four corners of the office.
Their blue covers lend frigidity and rigidity to an already cold setting. The room
smells of stale cigar smoke along with musty carpeting and dusty drapes.
Missing from these 10-foot columns of manuals, which endlessly detail NCAA
Bylaws, are the scales of justice in the hands of Themis, the Greek Titan of
justice, law and order.
A boom box blares loudly with the lyrics to a current hit sung by
“Come on, pretty baby,
slut those eyes at me. Focusing, flashing, locked on at me; two heat-seeking
missiles headed my way, on a fickle path of blue. Those orbs sorely missed as
time wears away. I'll never forget those cheating eyes; yet a dance worth time's pricey fee. Come on, pretty baby,
slut those eyes at me.”
"Dedicated to fickle Rick," a
voice from the boom box says.
Wanted posters of Rick Neuheisel and Jerry Tarkanian
sandwich a plaque on the wall bearing the NCAA’s creed:
“We will walk those extra MYLES to BRAND
a coach a liar.” (Signed, Myles Brand, President).
A Swiss Army knife sits on the desk, along with three piles
of worn PDA phone styluses -- some chewed to the nub. A page on the desk calendar reads
June 4, 2003.
Mysteriously the song from the boom box repeats itself, and
the columns of piled manuals cast a strong blue light that ends in a flicker.
Halfway down the hallway from his office, Myles mutters,
"Those manuals are haunting the crap out of this place." As he nears his office, he's startled
by a large rat scurrying from his office and headed down the darkened hallway. "Geez!"
It's almost 5AM; it is hot in the old warehouse, with the air
conditioning off and under automatic thermostat control. The old building,
housing the NCAA enforcement center and its thousands of bylaw manuals, sits on
the Chicago waterfront.
He stares into Bill's office. Myles has assigned the
Toejam's case to Bill. He'll never make the indictment involving a 'Lack of
Institutional Control' stick. That's why I assigned the case to you, baby.
He laughs aloud, "92,000 fans can't be wrong, a lot of buckaroos, a lot of
cabbage." While Bush was burning Washington, 51-24, in 2005, "the prez" may
also have burned Troy.
Entering his office, Myles fumbles with the light switch,
temporarily masking another flash of blue light from the manuals with the sudden appearance
of the room's light..
Quickly, his hand mostly silences the noisy boom box by
turning down the volume.
Using his Treo, Myles brings up his e-mails and then surfs
the web for the Seattle Times web page.
"Drat it," he says, as the search ends in a '404, Page not
found.' The boom box picks up volume and 'Slut those eyes at me' repeats
The rat, the song, the blue light, the heat, the 404 have
taken their toll. No way to start a day. His face frowns with fury, his eyes
dark and darting -- sweat beads his brow, enraging him further, for it
rhythmically drips to the soft thump of the boom box. “Damned 49ers,” he
protests. "I hate rock and roll." He dials Seattle, using the stylus for his
“Yes, boss,” Rachael says answering her phone, having
glanced at the caller-ID. “Damned who?”
“No one. Rachael, I want you to hit that son-of-a-bitch
with everything you’ve got. Scare the hell out of him.” Somehow the rhythmic
beads off his brow rearrange the lyrics in his mind,
“Come on, pretty baby, slut those eyes at me, a heat-seeking missile headed Rick’s way.”
“Shouldn't we have told Slick Rick the subject of the
investigation,” she responds questioningly.
“To hell with the bylaws; they are for them to follow, not
us. I want you women to bring plenty of manuals with you and make sure that
everyone in the room has one.”
“But Myles, they are so heavy. And they won’t fit in our
“For God’s sake, Rachel, we give you two hours a day to
read them and work out with them. How many manuals can you bench?”
“Three hundred and fifty.”
“So…show them your badges; make sure your guns are visible.
Scare the hell out of ‘em. Handcuff him after he lies. No coach in the month of
May dare sit in his car in front of a prospect’s house, call him on his cell
phone and tell him, ‘look at me; I’m thinking about you.’" He stops to catch his
breath, "And…uh, what about the
“The setting; is everyone in place?”
“Ron has lied to Barbara; a reporter is stationed outside the
hotel; the Times is quiesced; Hugh has taken a logic class and is writing a tome
about lying; snitch-one is hiding at Barney’s place in Boulder; snitch-two is hiding at God knows
“Good. Send snitch-two a Bylaws Manual as gratuity for
his e-mails – if you can locate him,” he adds stiffly.
“My phone’s batteries are getting weak,” Rachel says, her
voice beginning to fade.
“Charge them in your voice recorder,” he jokes with a
laugh, clicking off his phone with his stylus. “You can one-hand a
Blackberry, but not a Treo,” he mutters, forgetting the red-phone button on his
Treo 650. The address book of violators, snitches and suspects has filled its 32MB of memory
and his Treo is blinking red at him, wanting a hard reset. “Cheap S.O.B.’s,” he
says, in reference to Palm One and its limiting memory.
He removes the battery cover, then presses the reset button
with a shaking stylus while holding the red-phone button down. “God, I forgot to
synch it with my Dell,” his dark office bellows out, waking the sleeping
building as the Treo’s memory clears its stream of violators, suspects and
Hearing the head honcho’s outburst, Bill Saum, Director of
Gambling, rushes into his office, “What’s wrong, boss?”
“Nothing,” Myles says sheepishly. “Er, ah, could I synch my
Treo with yours?” he adds matter-of-factly, hoping to restore part of his file
of miscreants and informers.
“I bought a Blackberry 7100t, using my winnings from the
March office pool,” he says confidently. His Blackberry groans hoarsely as an
informant’s e-mail arrives. The bright light of the room masks a pulsating glow
from the manuals -- and still another pulsating glow as the phone groans again;
it was as if the phone, boom box and manuals were communicating by some sort of
"spooky action at a distance."
Gathering courage to respond, his voice shaking, “So, how
are things going, Bill? How many suspects are packed in your Blackberry?” Suddenly, a
drop in power darkens the room, leaving them shadowed in the company of the four
pillars of thick manuals. Eerily, the boom box picks up even more volume.
“Thousands,” Saum says weakly, under light from the
manuals, which irradiate a soft flicker of light that slowly brightens.
"Good, God," Myles yells, as another rat jumps from his
waste basket and leaves the room.
Then the four columns of manuals
seem to walk about the room as their flickering
light acts as a strobe -- nuanced pages transcending life’s intended course. For
a moment, Myles is dancing to the tune of “Slut those
eyes at me.” with an Ionic column of manuals morphed into the Greek Goddess Themis.
At the same time, Saum attempts to photograph the scene,
using Brand's Treo -- Myles' dance with a column of manuals morphed into a Greek
Goddess being one for the books.
After full power is restored, the manuals' iridescence
shrinks to a fingering bird before fading to darkness, the flip off being the
only photo on Brand's phone. The boom box quiesces to a soft-thumping sound once
“Get rid of the old manuals, the 2002-03 versions. They’re
beginning to haunt the crap out of this place.”
“I’ll pack them and send them to the warehouse we just
rented at Kent, Washington.” Saum's phone grumbles again as an informant's
e-mail arrives. The manuals glow softly as if powered by the phone.
"Pay the shipper out of the March Madness fund. Freaking
PDA phones with their thumb-sucking keyboards."
"Myles, you really should buy a Blackberry and get rid of
those styluses. All you need are e-mails, and the Blackberry is great for that."
"I bought a two-year contract."
"Anybody can get out of a contract."
A day later the old manuals are sent to Kent.
And that’s why the outdated NCAA
Bylaw got entered into discovery in a trial that took place at Kent, Washington.
Myles blames the blunder on the Greek Goddess Themis.
After the trial, rumor has it that the
Kent warehouse caught fire and burned to the ground. Strangely, all of the
manuals were intact.
As for Myles' PDA phone, he broke his
contract and bought a Blackberry 7100t. Unfortunately, his problems with the
keyboard caused him to shatter its screen with a Treo stylus. He could have kept
his Palmone Treo and purchased an infrared, wireless keyboard.
Richard Linde (a.k.a., Malamute) can be reached at