NCAA: Investigating Its Own Improper Conduct; Haith & Univ. of Miami Off Hook for Now

NCAA_Basketball

INDIANAPOLIS — The NCAA issued an announcement Wednesday that could affect its investigation into MU Basketball Coach Frank Haith and the University of Miami program– as well as many other coaches and programs currently under scrutiny for impropriety.

The NCAA is now apparently facing allegations of improper conduct in its enforcement program– specifically concerning how it obtained information during its investigation into the University of Miami, where Haith was coach before moving to Mizzou last year.

The NCAA claimed the University of Miami violated rules when it allowed a supporter to give money to players or their families. With this new investigation into itself, any “Notices of Allegations” against Miami are now suspended.

The NCAA website says the following:

“The national office has uncovered an issue of improper conduct within its enforcement program that occurred during the University of Miami investigation. Former NCAA enforcement staff members worked with the criminal defense attorney for Nevin Shapiro to improperly obtain information for the purposes of the NCAA investigation through a bankruptcy proceeding that did not involve the NCAA.

As it does not have subpoena power, the NCAA does not have the authority to compel testimony through procedures outside of its enforcement program. Through bankruptcy proceedings, enforcement staff gained information for the investigation that would not have been accessible otherwise.

“I have been vocal in the past regarding the need for integrity by NCAA member schools, athletics administrators, coaches, and student-athletes,” said Association President Mark Emmert. “That same commitment to integrity applies to all of us in the NCAA national office.”

In light of this incident and other recent events involving the enforcement staff, President Emmert has commissioned an external review of the enforcement program. The review will include a thorough investigation into the current issue as well as the overall enforcement environment, to ensure operation of the program is consistent with the essential principles of integrity and accountability. The NCAA has retained Kenneth L. Wainstein, a partner with the law firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP to conduct this investigation. Wainstein specializes in corporate internal investigations and civil and criminal enforcement proceedings. He was formerly Homeland Security Advisor to President George W. Bush and has served as the Assistant Attorney General for National Security as well as the FBI General Counsel.

As it relates to the Miami investigation, the NCAA will not move forward with a Notice of Allegations until all the facts surrounding this issue are known.

“Upon receipt of Mr. Wainstein’s findings, I will take further steps as needed to assure accountability for any improper conduct,” Emmert said.

“The NCAA Executive Committee expects the enforcement program to operate within approved procedures and with the highest integrity. Although we are deeply disappointed in this turn of events, we strongly support the actions President Emmert is taking to address the problem,” said Lou Anna K. Simon, executive committee chair and Michigan State University president.

“To say the least, I am angered and saddened by this situation. Trust and credibility are essential to our regulatory tasks,” said Emmert. “My intent is to ensure our investigatory functions operate with integrity and are fair and consistent with our member schools, athletics staff and most importantly our student-athletes,” he added.

FOX 4 will continue to follow this latest announcement.

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