ATHENS – Whether it’s the reason Georgia received such a quick and favorable response from the NCAA in the Jarvis Jones case will probably never be known, but hiring Mike Glazier to lead its investigation certainly didn’t hurt.
Glazier is an attorney who specializes in NCAA litigation and works for the law firm Bond, Schoeneck & King of Overland Park, Kan. He’s a former NCAA investigator who has been called “The Fixer” and “The Cleaner” – nicknames he takes issue with — for his unique ability to handle NCAA infractions matters in a swift and effective manner.
The Bulldogs, it turns out, have been working with Glazier since March of this year. In the past, UGA has been represented almost exclusively by Athens attorney Ed Tolley on NCAA matters.
Tolley remains on retainer. But Greg McGarity, who took over as Georgia’s athletic director about a year ago, has known Glazier for many years and felt like the Bulldogs could benefit from his firm’s level of NCAA expertise.
“Mike and I, basically I know him from my Florida days,” McGarity told the AJC. “So I’ve had a prior relationship with Mike and his firm. I decided to have them take the lead in situations such as this one. I think their level of expertise, the questions they ask, the depth of detail they provide, gathering every bit of information, that’s their specialty. They ask the right questions and present the answers in an accurate, honest report on behalf of institutions.”
It certainly worked in UGA’s latest NCAA case. Georgia hired Glazier to investigate claims that Jones, an all-star linebacker from Columbus, had accepted impermissible benefits from a parks and recreation administrator who had been convicted of fraud. UGA received Glazier’s report on July 29th, submitted it to the SEC on Aug. 2, and received a favorable ruling from the NCAA one week later.
It was determined that Jones had a preexisting relationship with the administrator in question and any benefits he received were permissible under NCAA bylaw126.96.36.199.6. Jones, a sophomore transfer from USC, will be able to play this fall.
“It was handled better and more quickly than we could have hoped for,” McGarity said.
Glazier’s services don’t come cheap. According to financial records obtained by the AJC, the Georgia Athletic Association has paid Bond, Schoeneck & King $25,227 since March.
The first invoice the school processed was for $1,244.55 on March 10. UGA also paid $4,085.05 in April, $14,943.93 in May and $4,953.73 on June 15th. UGA also paid Tolley’s firm $4,200 in March.
“Back when we had the reports about [Ray] Drew and [Isaiah] Crowell, that’s when our relationship started,” McGarity said. “We decided to engage [Bond, Schoeneck & King] fr things that needed a higher level of scrutiny and review since they are experts in NCAA enforcement matters and interpretations.”
Oddly enough, the matters regarding the recruitment of Crowell and Drew, thought to be secondary violations, have yet to be adjudicated by the NCAA, McGarity said.
According to Glazier’s offical bio, he is considered a pioneer in collegiate sports law. A former member of the NCAA’s enforcement staff, he left after seven years and co-founded in 1986 the Slive/Glazier Sports Group, one of the country’s first law firms dedicated to representing college and universities on NCAA-related matters. His partner was Mike Slive, who is now commissioner of the SEC.
Since joining Bond, Schoeneck & King Glazier has represented dozens of Division 1 athletic programs on major infractions cases. Minnesota paid his group nearly $1 million back in 1999 and Kansas paid him more than $400,000 in a basketball infractions case several years back. Presently he is representing Oregon and Tennessee, both of which have major cases before the NCAA Infractions Committee.
Employing Glazier can be a double-edged sword. Though his reputation is to generally get his clients relief in their dealings with the NCAA, his basic strategy is to have institutions self-impose penalties in advance of NCAA hearings and “disassociate” with trouble-making individuals.
“If schools are at fault, they’re at fault,” McGarity said. “[Glazier and his team] don’t sugarcoat things.”
Glazier could not immediately be reached. However, he has been written about extensively. The New York Times focused on his practice in a 2007 story by former AJC staffer Joe Drape and The Wall Street Journal did a Q&A with him a few years ago.