Missouri basketball coach Frank Haith — formerly the head man at the University of Miami in Coral Gables — will be suspended from the Tigers’ first five games this season for not promoting an “atmosphere of compliance” while coaching the Canes. Mizzou opens the year against Southeastern Louisiana, Southern Illinois, Hawaii, Gardner-Webb, and IUPUI. Here’s guessing they’ll survive that lineup of cupcakes, creampuffs and other assorted pastries without Haith on the bench.
The NCAA says that Haith “failed to meet his responsibilities as a head coach and when he did not monitor the activities of his assistant coaches, and attempted to cover up the booster’s threats to disclose incriminating information.” The NCAA wrapped up its 26-month investigation into the Miami program today.
All things considered? Haith and Missouri should accept the slap on the wrist and just move forward, thankful that the dirt in South Florida really didn’t track back to hurt Missouri in any meaningful way.
Interestingly, the NCAA’s report shows that Haith defended his program’s recruiting methods by suggesting to the NCAA staff that if he’d have cheated he’d have recruited better:
“Did we win enough games for the Miami supporters? You read the papers, I don’t think they felt that great about what we did there. I didn’t recruit, I didn’t get the five-star guys. And let’s, like I sid, let’s don’t be naive about the level. Our business is corrupt and how we (have) got to deal with these guys at the high-level kid.”
Haith likely would have preferred those comments not come out. Mizzou fans might begin to wonder anew why AD Mike Alden hired a guy who didn’t win enough at Miami and couldn’t sign “the five-star guys.”
But if a little egg on the face and a five-game suspension are the totality of the fallout for Haith, he and the University of Missouri should be pleased. Things could have been worse.