New NCAA vice president for enforcement Jon Duncan, a Kansas Citian, has a tough task, convincing the membership that his department isn’t broken.
Asked what message he has for the people who matter most in the process, those on campus, Duncan told The Star on Thursday that his staff consists of “strong, talented, experienced professionals. We are working to make sure they have the training, the ongoing development opportunities they need to do their job.
“And I’d like for the membership to know that we’re providing a service to the institutions. And while they may not agree sometimes with the charges or the results of the investigation, I hope they feel they’ve been treated fairly and that the communication lines are open and that we are trying to work together to enforce the bylaws in the manual that we’ve been charged with enforcing.”
Duncan replaces Julie Roe Lach, who was fired after amid criticism of the botched handling of the Miami, Fla., investigation involving booster Nevin Shapiro.
Missouri basketball coach Frank Haith is implicated in the Miami scandal -- he was the basketball coach at the time -- and was charged with failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance. Haith has said he plans to fight the charge.
Duncan said he cannot comment on Haith’s status.
Duncan, who grew up in Springfield, Mo., attended William Jewell and University of Kansas Law School, practiced at Kansas City law firm Spencer Fane Britt & Browne since 2003, and spent the previous five years at Husch Blackwell.
He first represented the NCAA in litigation in 1998.
Duncan started an 18-month trial period at the NCAA on Tuesday.