Missouri's early success under Haith could be tempered by investigation

Wednesday, December 14, 2011 | 8:59 p.m. CST; updated 9:25 a.m. CST, Thursday, December 15, 2011

COLUMBIA — The Missouri men's basketball team has had a flurry of success early in the season.

The Tigers are 9-0 and ranked No. 10 in the AP Top 25, thanks to consistent shooting from the likes of Marcus Denmon and Kim English and a dominant presence from Ricardo Ratliffe, who is often the lone forward on the court since senior Laurence Bowers tore his ACL before the start of the season.

Thursday's game

Kennesaw State (2-5)
at No. 10 Missouri (9-0)

WHEN: 7 p.m.
Mizzou Arena
KTGR/1580 AM, 100.5 FM; KCMQ/96.7 FM
Fox Sports Midwest Plus

Special ticket offers are available for Thursday's game and Sunday's 2 p.m. game against William and Mary. Tickets for Thursday's game are $5 for upper-level seats and $15 for lower-level seats at Mizzou Arena. Tickets for Sunday's game are $10 for upper-level seats and $25 for lower-level seats.

Shuttles service will be available free of charge from the Reactor parking lot (Lot R) to Mizzou Arena for the Missouri men's basketball games on Thursday and Sunday. 
The shuttle drop-off and pick-up area will be on the east side of Mizzou Arena. The shuttle will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday and 12:30 p.m. on Sunday and run for one hour after each game. 
Reactor is one of four general parking lots available free of charge for Missouri men's basketball home games. The others are Maryland Avenue parking garage, Virginia Avenue parking garage, and Lot SG5 located on the north side of Faurot Field at the corner of Stadium Boulevard and Providence Road.

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Missouri's surprising start has overshadowed what could become a distraction to all of Missouri athletics in the coming months — the NCAA investigation into Frank Haith for potential recruiting violations during his tenure at the University of Miami.

The NCAA began its investigation in August when Haith was accused by former Miami booster Nevin Shapiro of knowing about a $10,000 payment Shapiro made to Miami basketball recruit DeQuan Jones in 2008.

The NCAA is not allowed to comment on current, pending or potential investigations, wrote Stacey Osburn, associate director of public and media relations, in an email.

While the NCAA claims on its website that investigations typically take less than a year, more complicated cases can take longer. The investigation into the University of Tennessee's Athletics Department and basketball coach Bruce Pearl lasted 17 months and culminated in Pearl's firing in March 2011.

An NCAA investigation is a multi-step process that can take months: 

  1. The NCAA receives information from member institutions, anonymous sources or media reports — as in Miami's case with the Yahoo! Sports report
  2. If the NCAA thinks a school or coach has violated regulations, it sends a letter of inquiry to the university's president or chancellor informing them of a pending investigation by the NCAA.
  3. The NCAA initiates its investigation, which includes on- and off-campus interviews with student-athletes, school staff members or other individuals associated with the investigation.
  4. The NCAA notifies the university of alleged violations it discovers during the investigation. A notice of alleged violations is normally delivered to the university within six months of the initial letter of inquiry. If the investigation continues for longer than a year, the NCAA Committee on Infractions must review and renew the investigation in order for it to continue.
  5. If violations are found, the NCAA and the university agree on penalties or a hearing with the NCAA Committee on Infractions is scheduled. 
  6. If a hearing is held, the Committee on Infractions releases a report detailing the penalties to be imposed on the school, usually within six to eight weeks after the hearing. The school has the option of appealing the decision through the Infractions Appeals Committee.

Although Haith no longer coaches at Miami, the investigation can have far-reaching effects if the NCAA finds the university guilty of the allegations. 

According to the NCAA's website, "If the coach or other individuals are no longer at the school where the infraction occurred but are now working at another institution, the Committee on Infractions may request the current school to take action against the individual, even if the school was not involved in the infraction."

That is not always the case, however. Kentucky coach John Calipari has never had penalties follow him to another coaching job, though he has been the subject of multiple NCAA investigations, according to a previous Missourian article.

Language in Haith's contract cites nine potential causes for termination. The fifth stipulation in the "Termination for Cause" section in Haith's contract includes violations that occurred during employment at another NCAA institution. 

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