Tag:NCAA Investigations
Posted on: August 17, 2011 2:30 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2011 2:37 pm
 

AP: Kirby Hocutt approved Shapiro's access

Posted by Tom Fornelli

As the news of the latest allegations against the Miami football program and its relationship with booster Nevin Shapiro continues to spread, so does the story's reach. The actions of Shapiro and Miami do not just affect the Miami athletic department, but schools around the country as well.

One of those schools may be Texas Tech. In an AP report on Wednesday afternoon, a source claims that former Miami athletic director and current Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt approved Nevin Shapiro's access to the Miami program.
A person familiar with the situation said much of Shapiro's access to Hurricane programs in recent years was approved by former athletic director Kirby Hocutt, who has since left the school for Texas Tech. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing joint investigation between the university and the NCAA.

Hocutt, the person said, allowed Shapiro on the sideline before football games at times during the 2008 season, plus invited him to select gatherings reserved for the athletic department's biggest donors.

"That's what Kirby did," the person said. "His No. 1 job was to raise money and this Nevin Shapiro guy was one of the few people Kirby could get to write checks."

Shapiro had been on the Miami sideline before games an unknown number of times before Hocutt's arrival as athletic director in 2008.

Hocutt has declined comment on the Miami investigation.
Hocutt resigned as Miami's athletic director to take the job in Lubbock in February.

Obviously, if the allegations are true, this does not reflect well on Hocutt and could affect his job at Texas Tech. Meaning that Texas Tech could join Kansas State as Big 12 schools feeling the ramifications of Miami's misdeeds.
Posted on: August 16, 2011 8:51 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2011 11:40 pm
 

Miami misdeeds could be trouble for Kansas State

Posted by Tom Fornelli

If you're anything like me, you're still trying to wrap your brain around the latest Yahoo! Sports bomb to be detonated, this time at Miami. Unfortunately for plenty of schools around the country, the allegations made against the Miami football program aren't confined to Coral Gables. They even stretch as far as Manhattan, Kansas and the Kansas State football program.

Current Kansas State linebacker and former Miami linebacker Arthur Brown is one of the many players that former Miami booster Nevin Shapiro claims he provided with a variety of benefits while they attended the school. To make matters worse for Kansas State, Brown's brother Bryce Brown -- Kansas State's running back -- was present when his brother received some of these benefits.

Here's a list of the benefits allegedly received by Arthur Brown.

- A dinner at Benihana and a trip to a strip club called The Cheetah in which Shapiro paid for all of Brown's food, drinks and private entertainment at the club.

- Lunch for Brown at Smith and Wollensky's with Brown, his parents, brother Bryce Brown and adviser Brian Butler which totaled $532. A bill paid for by Shapiro.

- Two rooms at the Continental Oceanfront Hotel for Brown, his family and adviser totaling $1,110.19. Paid for by Shapiro.

- Food, drinks and entertainment at Lucky Strike Lanes on at least one occasion.

- Food, drinks and entertainment during pool tournaments at Shapiro's mansion.

- Transportation from Miami staffer Sean Allen at the direction of Shapiro.

At the time of Bryce Brown's visits he was being recruited by Miami.

“[Arthur] also wanted me to meet his brother," Shapiro told Yahoo."Who was going to be the No. 1 recruited player coming out of high school that following year named Bryce Brown. I set up a trip for his mom, dad and spiritual adviser – which is another name for an agent – Brian Butler. They all came in from Kansas. I put them up at a hotel on Miami Beach.” 

This is not good news at all for Kansas State, as the team was counting on both the Brown brothers to be major contributors to the team this season. At this point, if Bill Snyder and the Kansas State staff chooses to let them play they run the risk of playing ineligible players which could lead to vacated wins and violations at Kansas State.

So, as you can see, this story is not just Miami's problem.
Posted on: July 26, 2011 11:43 am
Edited on: July 26, 2011 2:31 pm
 

Oregon releases statement regarding NCAA probe

Posted by Bryan Fischer

LOS ANGELES -- Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens has released a statement regarding the expanding NCAA investigation into the program ahead of head coach Chip Kelly's remarks at Pac-12 Media Day:

“The University of Oregon football program, from Coach Chip Kelly through the entire organization, has tremendous respect for the NCAA’s important role in monitoring collegiate athletics and, to this end, continues to fully cooperate with the NCAA’s ongoing review.”

“The University of Oregon is committed to holding itself and the individuals associated with the University accountable to the highest standards.”

“As part of the University’s commitment to accountability, we want to reiterate that the institution takes this matter very seriously and remains dedicated to an open and transparent approach with the NCAA.

The university has retained outside counsel for this matter, Bond Schoeneck & King, a prominent and well-respected law firm with a practice group focused on NCAA compliance matters. The firm has been charged with making an independent assessment of the football program's use of outside recruiting services. In addition, they have been asked to provide the University with recommendations for areas of improvement within the football program and athletics department in order to meet best practices. We look forward to making the recommendations public at the conclusions of the process. The University, our Head Coach and the entire Athletic Department are fully committed to ensuring our program is following best practice.

As party of the University's commitment to accountability, we want to reiterate that the institution takes this matter very seriously and remains dedicated to an open and transparent approach with the NCAA.”




Posted on: July 23, 2011 1:15 pm
Edited on: July 23, 2011 3:12 pm
 

Oregon AD's email addresses Lyles investigation

Posted by Tom Fornelli

While Oregon hasn't made many public comments on the NCAA investigation into the school and its relationship with scout Will Lyles, athletic director Rob Mullen did send an email to a number of trustees, the alumni association board of directors and boosters this week. In the email, which The Register-Guard got its hands on, Mullen describes what the school is doing to cooperate with the investigation.

In the email Mullens wrote:
“The University of Oregon football program, from Coach Chip Kelly through the entire organization, has tremendous respect for the NCAA’s important role in monitoring collegiate athletics and, to this end, continues to fully cooperate with the NCAA’s ongoing review.”

“The University of Oregon is committed to holding itself and the individuals associated with the University accountable to the highest standards.”

“As part of the University’s commitment to accountability, we want to reiterate that the institution takes this matter very seriously and remains dedicated to an open and transparent approach with the NCAA.”
Mullen also explained the school's decision to seek outside counsel from the law firm of Bond, Schoeneck and King, a firm that specializes in NCAA compliance issues -- a firm that could end up costing the school around $150,000.
“The firm has been charged with making an independent assessment of the football program’s use of outside recruiting services. In addition, they have been asked to provide the University with recommendations for areas of improvement within the football program and athletics department in order to meet best practices.

“We look forward to making the recommendations public at the conclusion of the process. The University, our Head Coach and the entire Athletic Department are fully committed to ensuring our program is following best practices.”
Mullen sent the email out in part because Pac-12 media days will be taking place next week, and coach Chip Kelly is scheduled to face the media on Tuesday. While we don't know if Kelly is going to discuss the matter, you can bet your life savings that he's going to be asked about the situation frequently. Mullen also warned in the email that the recipients "are likely to see another round of media reports on the NCAA matter."

It's hard to predict what, if anything, will come of this investigation at Oregon. Many were predicting that Ohio State would be sanctioned back to the Stone Age thanks to the investigation taking place in Columbus, Ohio. But after Friday's announcement that the school wouldn't be hit with a "failure to monitor" charge, it looks as if Ohio State will escape the NCAA investigation relatively unscathed.

It's an outcome Oregon is no doubt hoping for itself.
Posted on: July 22, 2011 4:34 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 5:13 pm
 

Ohio State won't be hit with failure to monitor

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Ohio State got some good news on Friday when the NCAA announced that it had not found any new violations to charge Ohio State with, and would not be hitting the school with a "failure to monitor" charge. From the report in the Columbus Dispatch:
The NCAA has notified Ohio State University that it will not face charges of failing to appropriately monitor its football team as part of a memorabilia-sales scandal that brought down former Coach Jim Tressel.

The NCAA has not uncovered any new, unreported violations during its investigation and agrees with Ohio State that Tressel was the only university official aware of violations by his players and that he failed to report them.

"Other than (two redacted player names) and (Ted) Sarniak, there is no indication that Tressel provided or discussed the information he received ... with anyone else, particularly athletics administrators," the NCAA reported in an enforcement staff case summary.
The entire case summary can be read here. You can also read all 139 pages of the NCAA's interview with Jim Tressel here

What does this mean for Ohio State? Well, no school has ever received a postseason or television ban without being hit with the "failure to monitor" charge, and the odds of Ohio State facing such a punishment are now essentially non-existent. This also means that the blame for the entire situation will continue to lie solely at Jim Tressel's feet, and since he's already stepped down as head coach at Ohio State, the rest of the school's athletic department can sleep soundly tonight and in the future.

This news all comes after a report was released by a Columbus-area television station earlier on Friday afternoon saying that Tressel had told the NCAA he informed others at Ohio State about the transgressions of his players in December of 2010. A full month before Ohio State claims it came upon any information regarding the case.

Ohio State "categorically" denied the report, and with this latest announcement from the NCAA, it seems the NCAA felt the same way.
Posted on: July 22, 2011 3:39 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 4:05 pm
 

Report: Tressel let OSU know of problems in Dec.

Posted by Tom Fornelli

If you thought that you were done reading about Jim Tressel, tattoos, Terrelle Pryor and Ohio State, well, then you're incredibly naive. This is a story that won't be going away anytime soon.

The lastest in the ongoing saga at Ohio State involves when Jim Tressel let the school know about any possible issues involving his players and their love of getting tattoos in exchange for Ohio State memorabilia.

According to Ohio State, the school did not become aware of any problem until January while it was investigating an "unrelated legal matter." Well, according to a report from Ohio television station WBNS, that's not the case. The report says that Tressel told NCAA investigators he told Ohio State officials about a tip he received on the issue a month earlier in December.
Multiple sources told 10 Investigates' Paul Aker that Tressel claimed he verbally disclosed the tip he received about his players' involvement with tattoo shop owner Ed Rife around Dec. 16 to compliance director Doug Archie, Julie Vannatta, Ohio State's senior assistant general counsel, and perhaps others.

10 Investigates asked Vannatta about the claim. She said that she is aware Tressel made such a statement, but that it is not true.
What does this mean for Ohio State and the current NCAA investigation? Honestly, I'm not sure it means much. Obviously, if Tressel is telling the truth, then it's pretty clear that Ohio State has been lying to the NCAA, which wouldn't be good for the school, Gene Smith, Doug Archie or Julie Vannatta. Still, even if Tressel is telling the truth -- and I don't see why he'd have any reason to lie about it at this point -- the NCAA would still have to prove that Ohio State had been lying to them the entire time, and without concrete evidence -- like an email -- it's just a case of "he said, they said."

It could just be possible that Tressel is getting his dates mixed up. I mean, it's been reported he first found out about all of this in April of 2010, and when you sit on information for as long as he did, it's easy to forget whether you were hiding information for eight or nine months. I mean, it's not like Tressel would be the first person to get his dates and concept of time altered during this mess.
Posted on: July 20, 2011 1:39 pm
Edited on: July 20, 2011 2:13 pm
 

NCAA still sniffing around Auburn

Posted by Tom Fornelli

As Auburn head coach Gene Chizik recently found out in Destin, Florida after a rather testy exchange with NCAA Vice President of Enforcement Julie Roe Lach, the NCAA's investigation into Auburn is not over. More specifically, Chizik will "know when we're finished, and we're not finished." Now according to a report from outkickthecoverage.com, we know that the NCAA was in Montgomery asking questions as recently as last month.

According to the report, NCAA investigator Jackie Thurnes was in Montgomery interviewing a businessman with ties to the school.

As part of the latest round of investigation in Montgomery, Thurnes conducted interviews with Montgomery businessmen with relationships to Auburn University. Reached for comment by outkickthecoverage.com multiple individuals who spoke with Thurnes declined comment. Those interviews dealt with the NCAA's continuing probe of Cam Newton, but also focused on allegations levied on HBO's Real Sports by former Auburn player Stanley McClover. McClover told HBO that he'd been paid to play football for Auburn. The NCAA investigating McClover's claims is interesting because typically the NCAA statute of limitations on collegiate wrongdoing is four years. McClover last played at Auburn in January of 2006, but the NCAA reserves the right to expand the statute of limitations if there is a connection or pattern of wrongdoing.

Here's our original story on Stanley McClover

One allegation that Thurnes is reportedly looking into has to do with the suit Cam Newton wore to the Heisman Trophy ceremony.

One such individual, Thomas Buckelew, a tailor at Buckelew's Clothing for Men in Montgomery, Alabama, finds himself buffeted by allegations that he provided high-priced suits to Cam Newton at reduced costs. The very suits, you guessed it, that Newton wore at the Heisman ceremony. According to sources, Newton's suits, ties included, cost in excess of $4,000 each. NCAA investigator Jackie Thurnes was informed of this allegation, and the NCAA has spent time investigating its validity.

Since providing the suits at a reduced rate, if proven, would constitute an improper benefit and hence an NCAA violation, the NCAA has to take each allegation seriously. Indeed, last week Georgia Tech's 2009 ACC title was stripped for a mere $312 in improper clothing benefits.

When contacted by outkickthecoverage.com Buckelew admitted that he knew Newton and had worked with him but then said he'd "rather not get into it" and that he hasn't talked to anyone with the NCAA about his relationship with Newton. Buckelew also went on to say that he hopes the attention on him continues because it's been "good for business."

Maybe for him, but should these allegations turn out to be true and the NCAA keeps looking around and finds more violations at Auburn, it won't be very good for business at Auburn. 

Posted on: July 18, 2011 11:50 am
Edited on: July 18, 2011 12:39 pm
 

Les Miles talks about the Will Lyles situation

Posted by Tom Fornelli

As the NCAA continues to investigate Will Lyles and his ties with schools across the country -- with his relationship with Oregon garnering the most attention -- it's not just keeping its nose in the Pacific Northwest. The NCAA has also taken the time to talk with LSU and head coach Les Miles, as LSU has paid Lyles $26,000 since the 2008 season, including $6,000 in 2010. The same year that Oregon paid Lyles $25,000.

While there's no evidence to show that LSU's relationship with Lyles has been anything other than school and scout, it's not exactly the kind of attention any program wants right now, especially when most of what you hear or read about with Lyles has to do with him steering recruits to Oregon.

Les Miles spoke about the NCAA's visit to Baton Rouge on Sunday night while in New Orleans on a speaking tour.

"I think it's fundamental. I think it's necessary. We're going to comply. We're going to be very cooperative," Miles told the USA Today. "That's really all I can say."

Which, if we've learned anything about NCAA investigations around the country for the last year or so, is probably the best route to take. It's clear at this point that the best thing any school or coach can do is be honest with the NCAA. It's a lesson Jim Tressel had to learn the hard way recently at Ohio State, and could be one that Chip Kelly learns in the future depending on how the NCAA investigation at Oregon turns out. 

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com