Does Skadden Arps (or Bond, Schoeneck, & King) get a banner in The Rafters? …. WHO? How many of you REALLY saw this coming? Be honest now; admittedly ridiculous in this case…. Did you really see it coming down this way?
No hemming and hawing over semantics. No pontification over “the definition of IS”. Not “the arresting officer did not quote Miranda verbatim”. Not even “….. but but everybody does it.”
UNCCH simply said “Yeah, we did IT for 18+ years. It was what it was. So what? ….. But you – NCAA – can’t do a damn thing about it because __________. ….. SO THERE. Go suck an egg NCAA.”
“The glove didn’t fit…. You got to acquit. Hahahaha.
OJ – and UNCCH – walks. Case dismissed. OK, not quite yet, but probably.
The obviously Guilty walk. Is it a coincidence that Chapel Hill LOOOOVES Hillary Clinton?
In Lethal Weapon II the quite evil South African arms merchant / counterfeiter / drug dealer, whatever he was…. haughtily claimed Diplomatic Immunity. In the final scene “Riggs” puts a bullet between his eyes and the audience cheered. That probably won’t happen in this case; but ya never know.
If you did not have an intensely partisan stake in all this, wouldn’t you say “Damn, those UNCCH’s lawyers are right. They just snokkered the big nasty souless Association.”
If this were an episode of Boston Legal or LA Law or any of a dozen other “courtroom dramas” you would be cheering this 11th hour “rabbit out of the hat” maneuver. …. But you probably DO have an intensely partisan emotional stake in this:
Those of you of the ABC persuasion are flabbergasted for lack of a better term.
Those of the Carolina Way persuasion are seeing this as some sort of reverse karma for that Villanova buzzer-beater.
Tru-Blues don’t really understand this legal sleight-of-hand but so long as no banners come down and FB and MBB go unpunished…. and all the ABCers you have to deal with are really really pissed…. Isn’t that all that matters…. Really? Especially the part about ABCers being really pissed. In the end THAT is even more important than banners and rings….
UNCCH simply went out and hired lots better lawyers than The NCAA can afford. Those very very high-priced lawyers spent countless hours considering defense options. Well actually someone WAS counting every one of those hours, and portions thereof…. and billing them at $500/per or slightly less depending on how many “associates” were in the room at any given time.
No. Taxpayers were NOT paying for those high-priced lawyers. Very fat Fat Cats (Rams) with Very large Egos were forking over those megabucks in a carefully laundered Save Our Precious Banners “war chest”. What price Bragging Rights?
Clients who pay $1,500/hour for legal advice are like NBA owners who give $50,000,000 contracts to the 10th man on their teams. As outrageous as doing that may sound to “us”, in the end those gazillionaire owners are still making a profit. Whatever Skadden Arps or Bond Schoeneck charge, UNC Fat Cats can / did pay it.
I recently paid $350/hour for legal advice. I talked fast. What’s “a lot” is relative.
So the dozen or so Very Fat Cats (Rams) who anted up the “whatever it costs” to pay those high-dollar lawyers could easily afford to do so. Perserving those “banners in the rafters” mattered / mattered A LOT to them. Keeping UNC FB and MBB competitive in Big Time College Sports mattered A LOT to them. Seeing their ABC acquaintances really really pissed mattered a lot to them.
In the end Lower Level Fat Cats are just as shallow in what excites them as the goobers in the nose-bleed seats. Both google Abigail Ratchford and go WHOA!
I am saying “Skadden Arps lawyers”. That is Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom to be precise. They employ over 2,000 lawyers in multiple well-appointed offices across the country and around the world. I doubt there are still any Skaddens, Arps, Slates etc still around…. Maybe a 2nd or 3rd generation one or two. The actual attorneys who handled UNCCH’s case have remained anonymous at least to me. I assume someone over at Packpride knows their names, shoe sizes and where their kids go to private school. I don’t. …. Maybe UNCCH used another fancy law firm or several other firms. I recall Skadden Arps being mentioned 2-3 years ago so that why I use them as this example.
NOTE: Thanks to BLSays Buddy and longtime loyal BLSays reader – Jon Sasser (a/k/a “Butch’s lawyer”) – for informing us that a KC-firm – Bond, Schoeneck & King actually carried UNCCH’s water on this. Their designated Take Down The NCAA Guy – Rick Evrard specifically. As Jon notes in his comment it doesn’t change anything except what firm’s name goes on “the banner”. Jon assures us that Rick is “a good guy”. We think Jon is “a good guy” so assume “it takes one to know one”.
FWIW: Rick used to be an NCAA “goon” … that’s like an Asst DA becoming “a mob lawyer”. In the end, his kids have straighter teeth and attend better schools.
Ken Wainstein is employed by Cadwallader Wickersham & Taft. It is not that important to keep all these “rarified air law firms” separate unless you plan to write a book about all this some day. For sure, plenty of people WILL do just that.
If you (or a family member) were accused of something…. Whether guilty or not…. wouldn’t you want the very best legal defense you could get? If guilty, wouldn’t you want the very legal defense to minimize the penalty in prison time or $$$ you were going to be assessed for what you did? I bet you would. I certainly would.
If we can afford it wouldn’t we all seek “the best attorney” …. “best tax accountant” … “best orthodontist” …. “best _____”. UNCCH can obviously “afford it”.
“They say” our legal system favors the wealthy who can indeed afford the best lawyers. Most of us individuals cannot afford those rarified air/hour lawyers. We hope our lawyer can beat “the DA” or whoever might be suing us or “our ex spouse or business partner” or whoever. In the movies that happens a lot where the bright young idealistic attorney goes up aainst the big, fancy law firm and pulls a rabbit out of his hat…. or does some kick-ass summation or whatever and does win. I don’t think that happens a lot in the real world. I think the “team of fancy high-priced lawyers” win more often than not.
Lawyers at big fancy high-dollar law firms who lose cases are like PGA Tour golfers who can’t make 10’ putts…. like MLB relievers who can’t throw strikes, or batters who can’t hit 95mph heat. They are not around very long. Clients do not pay $1,500/hour for “sorry Bubba, we did our best but we lost.”
The pressure to win for a $1,500/hour lawyer is every bit as intense as it is for Ol’ Roy and Nick and Calipari. Maybe not as front page but for his/her career, very much so. The stakes were/are pretty high in UNC’s Great Unpleasantness. “Loss of banners” and penalties that would hamstring the wooing of semi-literate 17 y/os for several years were considered far too egregious to endure. What price “egos”?
What determines the hourly rate of a lawyer? I have no clue. Is a $500/hour lawyer only half as good as a $1,000/hour lawyer? Does hourly rate determine the quality of service with attorneys – accountants – automobile mechanics – surgeons ????
You know the old joke…. What do you call the guy who graduates at the bottom of his class at Harvard Medical School? The answer is “Doctor”. I’m going to guess that none of Skadden Arps’ (or Bond Schoenck) partners or junior partners or associates or paralegals graduated anywhere but very near the top at one of a half dozen most prestigious law schools.
I’m going to bet that their opponents – the legal staff at The NCAA – carry considerably less glowing credentials.
I’m going to bet the principal attorneys that are “first chair” on UNCCH’s case all make really comfortable seven-figure incomes. I’m going to bet the NCAA’s legal staff live in less opulent homes…. drive older model cars…. and belong to country clubs with much shorter waiting lists to become members.
Recruiting the best lawyers is no difference that recruiting in college basketball and football. In the end…. Talent usually wins. Maybe not always, but that’s the way to bet. Fancy National Firms have the recruiting bling equivalent of IPFs – Indoor Practice Facilities – espresso machines in the break room and a secretarial pool that rival an NFL cheerleader squad in pulchritude.
It looks like UNCCH is going to skate whenever the penalty phase actually takes place. Women’s BB will probably be thrown under the bus but nobody cares…. Neither the Tru Blues nor the ABCers. They agree on that.
There may be a high dollar fine but nobody cares about that either. The same bragging-rights driven Fat Cats will cover that too via various $$$ laundering techniques.
ABCers who have lived and breathed this crap for whatever 5-6-7-8 years will continue to live it and breath it and wake up each morning and type UNCheats on a Twitter thread. For them it will never be over. It is the Herpes of Scandals. They will despise all things UNCCH for all the reasons they have been bred since birth to do so…. many of which are quite justifiable reasons.
For UNCCH Tru Blues…. About the only question left now is today’s title….
Does Rick Evrard Get A Banner?
I would say YES…. but I don’t get a vote.