“Former Duke basketball player Lance Thomas has reached a settlement with the jeweler suing him for defaulting on his payment.”
That’s the first paragraph on a blog post at the News & Observer. It details the difficulties the NCAA could have in investigating a case in which both the college student and the aggrievated party have taken a vow of silence.
It is my hope that the administrators at Duke learn from their colleagues’ experiences at UNC. Unfortunately, my read of the blog post doesn’t offer a lot of hope of that. Duke isn’t commenting. Its only public comment so far came earlier this month that the school administrators are looking into the matter.
I understand that they need to investigate first. But who’s investigating, what are they doing and how long will it take? Will they let us in on the investigation? Are they working with the NCAA? Letting questions linger serves no good purpose. Worse, letting question lingers causes people to wonder what is being hidden. Not a good taste to leave with people.
Here’s a better response: “This is a serious matter, and we will get to the bottom of it. Representatives of Duke’s legal office and the law school investigating. That team is working closely with the NCAA. The integrity of this institution is of the utmost importance, and we will not allow unanswered questions besmirch it. And before you ask, Coach Krzyzewski is 100 percent behind the investigation. We are not sure how long it will take, but we will have something to report within one week.”
Demonstrate a commitment. Create an internal-but-independent investigating team. Promise a result. Promise a modicum of transparency.