NCAA accuses Haith of wrongdoing at Miami

Basketball coach tied to NCAA’s investigation of “lack of institutional control” at Miami.

§     The NCAA has issued Missouri basketball coach Frank Haith a notice of allegations stemming from an investigation into the University of Miami, where Haith coached from 2004 through 2011.

“I did get a notice of allegations,” Haith said after the Tigers’ upset of No. 5 Florida on Tuesday. “Contrary to what was reported, there was no unethical conduct in my notice of allegation. And it is just an allegation. So we get a chance to defend ourselves. The biggest thing I want to tell you is, I’m glad this thing is almost over with.”

Haith’s notice did not include an ethics violation, so the second-year coach will have 90 days to respond to the allegation.

MU athletic director Mike Alden was made aware of the allegation moments before Haith’s post-game press conference, when he made a brief announcement before stepping back into the locker room.

“After 20 months, I think all of us are just pleased,” Alden said. “Let’s go ahead and get this, deal with it, and move forward. I mean, I’m looking forward to working with Frank for a long time. He’s done great things here with us, and we look forward to continuing to do great things. I’ll just be glad that we got it and we can deal with it and move forward.”

An NCAA investigation into Miami booster and convicted con artist Nevin Shapiro has been ongoing for nearly two years and involves Hurricane athletes, namely in football and men’s basketball, receiving improper benefits and “lack of institutional control” in the athletic department as a whole.

According to NCAA President Mike Emmert, approximately 20 percent of evidence gathered by the NCAA concerning the investigation was thrown out because it was gathered illegally, by asking Shapiro’s defense attorney in criminal prosecution to ask her client questions about potential NCAA violations.

Miami has already self-imposed several sanctions during the course of the investigation including a two-year bowl ban and conference championship ban. Players have also been ordered by the university to pay restitution.

But Tuesday, Miami President Donna Shalala shot back at the NCAA. “We have suffered enough,” she said in a statement.

“Many of the charges brought forth are based on the word of a man who made a fortune by lying,” Shalala continued. “The NCAA enforcement staff acknowledged to the university that if Nevin Shapiro, a convicted con man, said something more than once, it considered the allegation ‘corroborated’—an argument which is both ludicrous and counter to legal practice.”

Shapiro is accused of providing memorabilia, cash amounts, dinners, strip club trips, prostitutes and even an abortion to Miami student athletes. Shalala disputes those claims.

“Despite their efforts over two and a half years, the NCAA enforcement staff could not find evidence of prostitution, expensive cars for players, expensive dinners paid for by boosters, player bounty payments, rampant alcohol and drug use, or the alleged hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and gifts given to student-athletes, as reported in the media,” Shalala said in the statement. “The fabricated story played well — the facts did not.”


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