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An NCAA Show-Cause Penalty Would Likely Lead To Haith’s Ouster At Mizzou

Image: Miami Hurricanes head coach Frank Haith watches his team play the North Carolina Tar Heels during their NCAA men's basketball game at the 2011 ACC Tournament in GreensboroFor the past week, we’ve been in a bit of an online debate with a few Missouri fans who took offense to our suggestion on the 17th that Frank Haith’s lawyer appeared to be “prepping Mizzou fans for bad news.”  In their view, the NCAA can not punish the Tiger program for violations Haith may have committed while coaching at Miami.

Well, it’s true that the NCAA isn’t going to hit Missouri with charges over any Miami mistakes.  However — and this is what those few holdouts still fail to grasp — MU can still be punished indirectly if the NCAA decides to go after Haith.  A recent SEC example: Bruce Pearl and Tennessee.

The NCAA did not drop the hammer on the Vol basketball program in 2011, as many Big Orange fans had feared.  But once it became clear Pearl was to be hit with a show-cause penalty (three years in his case), the school was effectively forced to dismiss him.  The Vol program is still trying to recover despite the fact that technically the NCAA levied more punishments on UT’s ex-coach than on UT’s program.

Yesterday, CBSSports.com’s Jeff Goodman reported that a source “close to the situation” had revealed that Haith would soon receive notice from the NCAA that he would be charged with unethical conduct and a failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance.  You know who else was hit with both of those charges?  Yep, Pearl.

In Haith’s case, the NCAA has reportedly been unable to prove that former Miami booster Nevin Shapiro gave $10,000 to Haith’s staff to pay for the services of former Hurricane DeQuan Jones.  That’s the claim made by Shapiro.  But the NCAA still intends to hit Missouri’s coach with an unethical conduct charge because it believes — and Shapiro’s mother has confirmed — that money allegedly given to Haith’s assistants for “camp money” actually went back to Shapiro as repayment for the cash he provided to ink Jones.  In addition, Haith and three aides will face punishment for providing impermissible airline travel for two Miami players and for allowing interaction between Shapiro and Hurricane recruits during their visits to Coral Gables.

Haith said last evening that he and Missouri officials are “in constant contact with the NCAA all the time about this case, (and)… it’s inappropriate for me to say anything other than just that.”

The university put out its own statement:

 

“The University of Missouri is aware of today’s story from CBS Sports.  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.  However, we are not at liberty to comment further out of respect for the NCAA process.”

 

If Goodman’s source is corrrect and Haith is charged with unethical conduct and failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance, he’ll have 90 days to respond to the allegations.  A hearing would follow in the summer and then a decision would come sometime between the fall and the end of the year.

Haith’s attorney, Michael Buckner, wasn’t exactly thrilled with Goodman’s report:

 

“Until my client, Frank Haith, receives a notice of allegations from the NCAA, the CBSSports.com report is premature.  The NCAA’s investigation in the University of Miami enforcement case is ongoing…

It is unfortunate that CBSSports.com’s unnamed source believed violating the NCAA confidentiality rule was worthwhile.  The report did not advance anyone’s interests (except the source’s) and is making a mockery of what is supposed to be a fair process.”

 

Buckner went on to say that “any allegations asserted by Nevin Shapiro against my client cannot be supported.”

NCAA spokesperson Stacey Osburn has said the NCAA does “not have a comment at this time.”

Armed with all that background info, there are still two major questions in need of answering…

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Report: Missouri’s Haith To Be Charged With Unethical Conduct

mrsec-breaking-newsMissouri basketball coach Frank Haith is expected to be charged with unethical conduct and failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance, according to a CBSSports.com report.

Those charges are expected to be included in the NCAA’s notice of allegations regarding the Miami investigation.

Haith could be facing a multiple-year show-cause penalty. Former Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl received a three-year show-cause penalty after he was charged with unethical conduct in 2011.

According to the CBS Sports report, Haith will be charged with unethical conduct because the NCAA did not believe his story that payments to his assistants intended for camp money did not end up being paid to former Miami booster Nevin Shapiro, who made the allegations to Yahoo! Sports in August 2011. A payment was made to Shapiro’s mother, who confirmed the payment to the NCAA, according to a CBS source.

Haith and those involved in the case will have up to 90 days to respond in writing before a hearing in front of the Committee on Infractions. The notice of allegations was expected to be released as early as Tuesday but could be delayed another week or two because of procedural questions, according to CBS Sports.

Haith is in his second season at Missouri, which has a 13-4 record and is coming off an 83-52 loss at Florida on Saturday. Haith led Missouri to a 30-5 record and a 2-seed in the NCAA tournament last season before the Tigers were upset in the first round by 15-seed Norfolk State.

How will this news affect the rest of Missouri’s season? Discuss on the new MrSEC Google+ Community.

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WOW Headlines – 1/15/13

Tuesday Night SEC Basketball
Kentucky 75, Tennessee 65
Ole Miss 89, Vanderbilt 79 (OT)
Tennessee’s 31-person staff of football new coaches and support personnel will make $7.51 million next year
Former Tennessee safeties coach Josh Conklin will be the new defensive coordinator at Florida International
Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen says new defensive coordinator Geoff Collins will be more aggressive with blitzes
Former Auburn offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler will reportedly take over the same job at Virginia Tech
Tennessee RB Quenshaun Watson is not expected to return, leaving the Vols with 66 scholarship players
Missouri basketball coach Frank Haith is eager for the NCAA to finish their investigation into his old Miami program
Follow the SEC all year long on MrSEC.com

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Mizzou’s Haith Ready For NCAA To Finish Probe Into His Miami Days

frank-haith-tight-faceOver the weekend, The Miami Herald reported that the NCAA was close to wrapping up its investigation into the Miami Hurricanes athletic program.  The investigation was tied to a Yahoo! Sports report in August of 2011 in which former Miami booster Nevin Shapiro claimed to have illegally aided at least seven coaches from the school’s football and basketball programs.  Shapiro said he spent millions of dollars on gifts and entertainment for recruits and players.

Among Shapiro’s claims: A member of Frank Haith’s Miami staff paid guard DeQuan Jones $10,000 to sign with the Hurricanes.  When the allegation was made, Haith — who was preparing for his first season in Columbia — denied it.  After a brief suspension, Miami reinstated Jones, suggesting the school had found no evidence of wrongdoing.

Yesterday, Haith was asked if he’d received any word from the NCAA about the allegation made against his Miami program:

 

“I haven’t, but obviously… it’s kind of a relief to know this is coming to an end, that part of it, in terms of their allegations — if there are any — against Frank Haith.  And if there are, then we have a chance to defend ourselves…

I am glad (this is ending because) something like this has been taxing on me and our family and our program.  So it’s good to know it’s coming closer to the end.”

 

While Shapiro provided receipts and other proof of some of the cash he spent on Miami athletics, he is currently serving 20 years in prison as part of a Ponzi scheme that was worth nearly a billion dollars.  His credibility — obviously — is still in question.

Haith isn’t the only ex-Miami coach with SEC ties waiting to hear the NCAA’s allegations.  Joe Pannunzio (director of football operations) and Jeff Stoutland (offensive line coach) are currently on Alabama’s BCS champion staff.  Former Florida player Aubrey Hill resigned as UF’s receivers coach last August saying he did not want to become a distraction for the Gator program.

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Hogs’ Anderson Says Mizzou’s Just Another Game

Ask an Arkansas fan and you’ll learn that their coach, Mike Anderson, left Missouri with a Top 10 caliber team.  Ask a Missouri fan and you’ll be told that Anderson fled town out a back door without taking questions and that he’d recruited so poorly that new coach Frank Haith has had to build his new squad with transfers.

Needless to say, there might be some bad blood when Anderson and Arkansas face Missouri twice in hoops this season.  Just don’t suggest that to Anderson:

 

“It’s going to be another conference game.  It just got a little more interesting because me and my staff coached there, and we still have some players over there as well.”

 

Actually, those games will be a lot more interesting due to Anderson’s departure from Columbia for Fayetteville.  No spin can change that.

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Hogs’ Anderson Says He’s Still Pro-Mizzou

Mike Anderson understands that he left behind hurt feeling in Columbia, Missouri when he moved southwest to Fayetteville, Arkansas last spring.  But the first-year Razorback coach says his feelings toward the Tiger basketball program haven’t changed:

 

“Those kids are part of my family. They will be for the rest of my life.  Obviously they were hurt and even when you talk about some of the fans. Why? When I got there, there was not a lot of empathy about the program. Now there are feelings about it and I understand that. But I’m so excited for those guys. They’re going to do great things.”

 

“Those kids” are currently 23-2 and ranked #3 in the nation.  While praising the job his friend Frank Haith has done in getting Anderson’s recruits to such a lofty spot in the polls, the ex-Mizzou man takes some credit for MU’s success: “I think I did my job because they were able to  bring someone else in and the program is now one of the best in the country.  I had the program where we wanted it.”

That he did.  But he shouldn’t expect a lot of warm fuzzies the first time he takes his Razorbacks back to Mizzou Arena.  Regardless of the roster he left behind, Tiger fans won’t soon forget his quick exit.

And regardless of what Anderson says before he face Missouri next year, you can be sure he’d have preferred his old school not join the same league with his current school.  Like an ex popping up at former spouse’s wedding, it’s gonna be awkward.

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Arkansas’ Anderson “Happy” For Missouri

When then Missouri basketball coach Mike Anderson slipped out a backdoor and dodged the Columbia media on his way to becoming Arkansas’ basketball coach, you can bet he didn’t expect to see the Tigers wind up as a conference foe the very next year. 

But that’s exactly what’s going to happen (provided the Tigers can escape the Big 12 shortly).

For his part, Anderson said all the right things in a press release yesterday:


“The University of Missouri is a wonderful fit for the Southeastern Conference and I am happy to see them join the league.  They are an excellent academic institution with a very good athletic program and a super fan base.  Arkansas and Missouri have a series history in men’s basketball which will continue next year.  I really enjoyed my time at Missouri and consider Gary Pinkel and Frank Haith good friends.  I look forward to seeing them and the Tigers as part of the SEC family.”


Uh, yeah.  There’s no question Missouri’s move to the SEC will be somewhat uncomfortable for the guy who left MU and an angry bunch of Tiger fans behind.  He won’t get a warm reception when he returns to Columbia, you can be sure of that.

But at least he left them in good shape.  At least that’s what he said last month:


“We left a very good basketball team there — one that could probably contend for a national championship.”


Wonder what Anderson’s good friend Haith thinks about that bit of pressure?

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