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Three ex-assistants file motion with NCAA in Miami-Shapiro case

The lawyer for three accused assistant coaches in the Miami case filed a "notice to preserve evidence" with the NCAA in January, CBSSports.com has learned.

The letter sent by Pittsburgh-based attorney Jim Zeszutek notifies the NCAA to preserve documents and communications in the event the coaches sue the association. CBSSports.com obtained a copy of the letter sent to NCAA general counsel and vice president of legal affairs Donald Remy.

"If (evidence) was destroyed, there would be sanctions against the NCAA," Zeszutek said.

All three former Miami assistant coaches -- Aubrey Hill, Jake Morton and Jorge Fernandez -- recently filed a motion to dismiss their cases with the NCAA. Hill and Fernandez have been charged with misleading the NCAA during the Miami case. The NCAA said Morton accepted "supplemental income" of $6,000 from former Miami booster Nevin Shapiro.

All three coaches are facing employment difficulties because of the allegations, according to Zeszutek. In the case of Hill, the coach has missed out on at least two opportunities in the "professional ranks" and "several college jobs" since he resigned at Florida last year, the lawyer said. Fernandez faces "grave financial difficulties," Zeszutek added.

Hill, a former Miami football assistant, resigned at Florida in 2012. Morton was both a former Miami basketball assistant and most recently a Western Kentucky director of basketball operations. He was not retained at Western Kentucky after this season. Fernandez, a former Hurricane basketball assistant, left Marshall after the 2011-2012 season.

Morton and Fernandez were coaches under former Miami coach Frank Haith, now at Missouri. Haith has been accused by the NCAA of failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance.

In the letter, Zeszutek states the coaches may have "potential causes for action" against the NCAA.

• Specifically, he asks for the NCAA to preserve written, electronic and voice recordings pertaining to the NCAA's use of outside attorney Maria Perez.

• "Any and all communications between or among the NCAA Enforcement Staff and any other department or persons of the NCAA regarding the investigation of the University of Miami Athletics Department."

• "… any information in the NCAA's possession regarding the leaking or providing the media with information concerning the NCAA's investigation of the University of Miami Athletics Department; and, The communications that the NCAA has had with potential employers (professional athletic teams) to bar or discourage the employment of coaches and athletes who are the subject of alleged or found to be in violation of NCAA Bylaws and Legislation."

The three coaches filed motions to dismiss their cases to the NCAA in advance of a Friday deadline last week, according to multiple reports.


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