You would not want to underestimate Donna Shalala on a tennis court. Or in a poker game. Or in a boxing ring.
The NCAA has a nasty cut over its eye, and Shalala is pummeling it, making it bleed.
The University of Miami president is doing something unprecedented: She is fighting back.
Most of Shalala’s peers at universities in the United States would not dare challenge the NCAA in scathing public statements with a verdict pending.
But Shalala did so, right in the middle of a basketball game. After two years of bowing and cooperating and staying mum during the NCAA’s investigation of booster Nevin Shapiro’s slimy influence on UM football and basketball, Shalala has removed the kid gloves and put on the heavy ones.
During halftime of UM’s 54-50 win over Virginia on Tuesday, Shalala left her seat in the stands and went outside the arena to compose her rebuttal to the NCAA’s Notice of Allegations delivered earlier in the day.
She said the NCAA “violated its own policy,” called reliance on corroboration from convicted Ponzi-schemer Shapiro “ludicrous” and said UM has “suffered enough.”