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Myles' manuals
How the outdated bylaw got entered in discovery
By Richard Linde, Updated 11 March 2005

Piled from floor to ceiling, inch-thick manuals pillar the four corners of the office. Their blue covers lend frigidity and rigidity to an already cold setting. The room smells of stale cigar smoke along with musty carpeting and dusty drapes.

Missing from these 10-foot columns of manuals, which endlessly detail NCAA Bylaws, are the scales of justice in the hands of Themis, the Greek Titan of justice, law and order.

A boom box blares loudly with the lyrics to a current hit sung by the 49ers:

“Come on, pretty baby, slut those eyes at me. Focusing, flashing, locked on at me; two heat-seeking missiles headed my way, on a fickle path of blue. Those orbs sorely missed as time wears away. I'll never forget those cheating eyes; yet a dance worth time's pricey fee. Come on, pretty baby, slut those eyes at me.”

"Dedicated to fickle Rick," a voice from the boom box says.

Wanted posters of Rick Neuheisel and Jerry Tarkanian sandwich a plaque on the wall bearing the NCAA’s creed:

“We will walk those extra MYLES to BRAND a coach a liar.” (Signed, Myles Brand, President).

A Swiss Army knife sits on the desk, along with three piles of worn PDA phone styluses -- some chewed to the nub. A page on the desk calendar reads June 4, 2003.

Mysteriously the song from the boom box repeats itself, and the columns of piled manuals cast a strong blue light that ends in a flicker.

Halfway down the hallway from his office, Myles mutters, "Those manuals are haunting the crap out of this place." As he nears his office, he's startled by a large rat scurrying from his office and headed down the darkened hallway. "Geez!" he yelps.

It's almost 5AM; it is hot in the old warehouse, with the air conditioning off and under automatic thermostat control. The old building, housing the NCAA enforcement center and its thousands of bylaw manuals, sits on the Chicago waterfront.

He stares into Bill's office. Myles has assigned the Toejam's case to Bill. He'll never make the indictment involving a 'Lack of Institutional Control' stick. That's why I assigned the case to you, baby. He laughs aloud, "92,000 fans can't be wrong, a lot of buckaroos, a lot of cabbage." While Bush was burning Washington, 51-24, in 2005, "the prez" may also have burned Troy.

Entering his office, Myles fumbles with the light switch, temporarily masking another flash of blue light from the manuals with the sudden appearance of the room's light..

Quickly, his hand mostly silences the noisy boom box by turning down the volume.

Using his Treo, Myles brings up his e-mails and then surfs the web for the Seattle Times web page.

"Drat it," he says, as the search ends in a '404, Page not found.' The boom box picks up volume and 'Slut those eyes at me'  repeats itself.

The rat, the song, the blue light, the heat, the 404 have taken their toll. No way to start a day. His face frowns with fury, his eyes dark and darting -- sweat beads his brow, enraging him further, for it rhythmically drips to the soft thump of the boom box. “Damned 49ers,” he protests. "I hate rock and roll." He dials Seattle, using the stylus for his phone.

“Yes, boss,” Rachael says answering her phone, having glanced at the caller-ID. “Damned who?”

“No one. Rachael, I want you to hit that son-of-a-bitch with everything you’ve got. Scare the hell out of him.” Somehow the rhythmic beads off his brow rearrange the lyrics in his mind,

“Come on, pretty baby, slut those eyes at me, a heat-seeking missile headed Rick’s way.”

“Shouldn't we have told Slick Rick the subject of the investigation,” she responds questioningly.

“To hell with the bylaws; they are for them to follow, not us. I want you women to bring plenty of manuals with you and make sure that everyone in the room has one.”

“But Myles, they are so heavy. And they won’t fit in our fanny packs.”

“For God’s sake, Rachel, we give you two hours a day to read them and work out with them. How many manuals can you bench?”

“Three hundred and fifty.”

“So…show them your badges; make sure your guns are visible. Scare the hell out of ‘em. Handcuff him after he lies. No coach in the month of May dare sit in his car in front of a prospect’s house, call him on his cell phone and tell him, ‘look at me; I’m thinking about you.’" He stops to catch his breath, "And…uh, what about the milieu? ”

“What?”

“The setting; is everyone in place?”

“Ron has lied to Barbara; a reporter is stationed outside the hotel; the Times is quiesced; Hugh has taken a logic class and is writing a tome about lying; snitch-one is hiding at Barney’s place in Boulder; snitch-two is hiding at God knows where, Myles.”

“Good. Send snitch-two a Bylaws Manual as gratuity for his e-mails – if you can locate him,” he adds stiffly.

“My phone’s batteries are getting weak,” Rachel says, her voice beginning to fade.

“Charge them in your voice recorder,” he jokes with a laugh, clicking off his phone with his stylus. “You can one-hand a Blackberry, but not a Treo,” he mutters, forgetting the red-phone button on his Treo 650. The address book of violators, snitches and suspects has filled its 32MB of memory and his Treo is blinking red at him, wanting a hard reset. “Cheap S.O.B.’s,” he says, in reference to Palm One and its limiting memory.

He removes the battery cover, then presses the reset button with a shaking stylus while holding the red-phone button down. “God, I forgot to synch it with my Dell,” his dark office bellows out, waking the sleeping building as the Treo’s memory clears its stream of violators, suspects and snitches.

Hearing the head honcho’s outburst, Bill Saum, Director of Gambling, rushes into his office, “What’s wrong, boss?”

“Nothing,” Myles says sheepishly. “Er, ah, could I synch my Treo with yours?” he adds matter-of-factly, hoping to restore part of his file of miscreants and informers.

“I bought a Blackberry 7100t, using my winnings from the March office pool,” he says confidently. His Blackberry groans hoarsely as an informant’s e-mail arrives. The bright light of the room masks a pulsating glow from the manuals -- and still another pulsating glow as the phone groans again; it was as if the phone, boom box and manuals were communicating by some sort of "spooky action at a distance."

Gathering courage to respond, his voice shaking, “So, how are things going, Bill? How many suspects are packed in your Blackberry?” Suddenly, a drop in power darkens the room, leaving them shadowed in the company of the four pillars of thick manuals. Eerily, the boom box picks up even more volume.

“Thousands,” Saum says weakly, under light from the manuals, which irradiate a soft flicker of light that slowly brightens.

"Good, God," Myles yells, as another rat jumps from his waste basket and leaves the room.

Then the four columns of manuals seem to walk about the room as their flickering light acts as a strobe -- nuanced pages transcending life’s intended course. For a moment, Myles is dancing to the tune of “Slut those eyes at me.” with an Ionic column of manuals morphed into the Greek Goddess Themis.

At the same time, Saum attempts to photograph the scene, using Brand's Treo -- Myles' dance with a column of manuals morphed into a Greek Goddess being one for the books.

After full power is restored, the manuals' iridescence shrinks to a fingering bird before fading to darkness, the flip off being the only photo on Brand's phone. The boom box quiesces to a soft-thumping sound once again.

“Get rid of the old manuals, the 2002-03 versions. They’re beginning to haunt the crap out of this place.”

“I’ll pack them and send them to the warehouse we just rented at Kent, Washington.” Saum's phone grumbles again as an informant's e-mail arrives. The manuals glow softly as if powered by the phone.

"Pay the shipper out of the March Madness fund. Freaking PDA phones with their thumb-sucking keyboards."

"Myles, you really should buy a Blackberry and get rid of those styluses. All you need are e-mails, and the Blackberry is great for that."

"I bought a two-year contract."

"Anybody can get out of a contract."

A day later the old manuals are sent to Kent.

------------

And that’s why the outdated NCAA Bylaw got entered into discovery in a trial that took place at Kent, Washington. Myles blames the blunder on the Greek Goddess Themis.

After the trial, rumor has it that the Kent warehouse caught fire and burned to the ground. Strangely, all of the manuals were intact.

As for Myles' PDA phone, he broke his contract and bought a Blackberry 7100t. Unfortunately, his problems with the keyboard caused him to shatter its screen with a Treo stylus. He could have kept his Palmone Treo and purchased an infrared, wireless keyboard.

Richard Linde (a.k.a., Malamute) can be reached at malamute@4malamute.com

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