The NCAA has taken some haymakers for its investigation of the University of Miami athletics, and it seems it’s going to get worse before it gets better.
According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Miami defensive end Dyron Dye has come forward to file a report against NCAA investigator Rich Johanningmeier, claiming the NCAA representative coerced him into giving favorable answers by threatening his eligibility:
According to the incident report, which was obtained by The Miami Herald through a public records request, Heitner said Dye met with Johanningmeier—who is now retired—in August 2011, and then met with him a second time, later that day, at the NCAA’s request.
In the report, Heitner said that “prior to the start of the second interview, Mr. Johanningmeier coerced Mr. Dye into providing favorable answers for his investigation.”
According to Dye’s attorney, Darren Heitner, the defensive end felt intimidated by Johanningmeier when asked to give details regarding particular questions the investigator had asked. It was at that point, Dye alleges, that Johanningmeier threatened his eligibility.
As a result of that second interview, the NCAA met with Dye for a third time, according to Jackson, in an attempt to clear up the inconsistencies in his first two interviews with investigators. If those inconsistencies are not resolved, Dye faces suspension or ineligibility from the NCAA.
With threats of suspension or ineligibility on the table, Dye chose to file the incident report with the Coral Gables Police Department, effectively escalating a situation that has already been in the spotlight following a widespread investigation of Miami athletics.
Dye isn’t the first player to object to how NCAA investigators handled their interviews. According to Jackson, Jacory Harris and Olivier Vernon also spoke out about the NCAA investigators, with Vernon stating Johanningmeier twisted his words and pressured him:
When [Johanningmeier] asked the question, he made it seem like he wanted you to answer it as to where you did something wrong. He flipped it on us… Sometimes you blurt out something that you were pressured into saying. He pressured us a lot more.
Johanningmeier and the NCAA have already been in hot water following investigations of Alabama and Mississippi State, and Dye’s incident report only serves to give Miami a little more ammunition for combating the NCAA and its investigation.