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Cusumano: Mizzou fans need to hope for reporting error

6:05 PM, Jan 22, 2013   |    comments
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Dec 30, 2011; Norfolk, VA, USA; Missouri Tigers head coach Frank Haith against the Old Dominion Monarchs at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-US PRESSWIRE

(KSDK Sports) -- Today we asked KSDK sports reporter Frank Cusumano to give us his opinion on the recent story regarding Missouri basketball coach Frank Haith, who could be hearing back from the NCAA about whether or not he has violated any rules.  

Click the above video link to hear Frank's commentary.

The Backstory
In a statement released by the University of Missouri, they confirm that the school is aware of reports circulating regarding possible NCAA allegations accusing Missouri men's basketball coach Frank Haith of "unethical conduct and failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance."

The University has been in communication with the NCAA regarding their ongoing efforts related to the University of Miami investigation. Coach Haith and the University of Missouri continue to cooperate fully. The univesity says they are not at liberty to comment further out of respect for the NCAA investigation.

The NCAA's nearly two-year investigation into Miami's athletics department is about to hand former men's basketball coach Frank Haith some bad news, according to a report by CBSSports.com.

The site reported Monday afternoon that the NCAA is expected to release a notice of allegations as early as this week, and that in it, Haith is expected to be charged with unethical conduct and failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance. Haith is currently in his second season as head coach at Missouri.

The NCAA's Stacey Osburn said the organization did not have a comment at this time.

It remains unclear what the penalty for those charges will be, but CBSSports.com's Jeff Goodman suggests the unethical conduct aspect could elicit a multiple-year show-cause penalty, similar to that of former Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl's (when he was charged with unethical conduct in 2011).

Haith's charges stem from an allegation from former Miami booster Nevin Shapiro - who is at the heart of the NCAA investigation - that a member of Haith's staff paid $10,000 to the family of DeQuan Jones, a former player. Yahoo! Sports initially reported the allegation.

Shapiro is in federal prison, serving a 20-year sentence for masterminding a nearly $1 billion Ponzi scheme.

CBSSports.com is now reporting that the NCAA was unable to prove that allegation, but the NCAA did not believe Haith's story that payments to his assistants intended for camp money did not end up repaying Shapiro.

The "failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance" charge stems from impermissible airline travel given the family of two players and the interaction between Shapiro and players while on recruiting visits, according to CBSSports.com.

Haith, who coached at Miami from 2004-11, led Missouri to a 30-4 record and a No. 2 NCAA tournament seed last season. The Tigers were upset by 15-seed Norfolk State in the round of 64.

Three of Haith's former Miami assistants - Jake Morton (now at Western Kentucky), Jorge Fernandez and Michael Schwartz (currently at Fresno State) - are also expected to receive unethical conduct charges, according to CBSSports.com.

Two assistant coaches still at Miami also have been told they will be charged with unethical conduct, two people familiar with the situation told the Associated Press on Monday. The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither the NCAA nor Miami have announced the contents of the long-awaited letter.

The people say the coaches will be cited for violating NCAA bylaw 10.1, a broad rule that covers conduct and cooperating with investigations. One of the coaches has been told to expect arrival of an actual copy of the allegations on Tuesday, one person told the AP.

The AP report does not say in which sport or sports the assistant coaches work.

Earlier this month, Miami coach Al Golden said he did not expect the university to be surprised by the NCAA's findings. Several people involved in the investigation said Miami has had representation at many interviews the NCAA conducted with persons it found to be of interest.

Whenever the actual letter arrives, Miami's receipt of the notice of allegations will usher in the start of the sanctions phase.

And that could take months - meaning actual penalties may not be handed down until this summer, or later.

Typically, schools and individuals named in the notice of allegations have 90 days to file a response to the NCAA's findings, all of which would be reviewed by the committee on infractions - which operates separately from the NCAA's investigative arm.

Some of the sanctions have already gone into effect, since they were self-imposed. Miami's football team has missed three postseason games - two bowl games and what would have been an appearance in this season's Atlantic Coast Conference championship game - in response to the investigation, and Golden is holding back a number of scholarships from the 2013 roster as well.

KSDK Sports will continue to follow this story as it develops.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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