Marshall University, the NCAA, and One Man’s Fight for Justice
In 1997, Dave Ridpath walked onto the campus of Marshall University as a sports-loving athletic administrator with a career on the rise. Less than five years later, Ridpath’s quest to reform one of the most corrupt athletic departments in college sports, while simultaneously standing up to the behemoth governing body that is the NCAA, had all but destroyed that career.
While serving as assistant athletic director for compliance and student services at Marshall University from 1997 through 2001, Ridpath unearthed violations of several NCAA rules. These violations included overt academic fraud and impermissible, booster-devised employment for members of the Marshall University football team—a team had taken the nation by storm because of its incredible success on the field. Ridpath now chronicles his experiences through this trying time in Tainted Glory: Marshall University, the NCAA, and One Man’s Fight for Justice.
Instead of being hailed as a conquering hero determined to clean up an outlaw program, Ridpath had the tables turned on him. He found himself out of a job when Marshall University and the NCAA determined that the path of least resistance would be to remove him rather than address the issues head-on. With this action, they hoped to avoid damaging the university, the athletic department, and the NCAA overall.
This story is about more than the NCAA or Marshall University. It is about the state of the business of intercollegiate athletics told by someone on the inside who lived it—the good and the bad.
- iUniverse, March 2012
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