UPDATE: Haith, Miami allegations on hold

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 | 12:40 p.m. CST; updated 7:47 p.m. CST, Wednesday, January 23, 2013

COLUMBIA— The NCAA released a statement on Wednesday stating that the notification of allegations surrounding the University of Miami investigation will be put on hold for now.

The release from the NCAA stated that it found “improper conduct within its enforcement program” during the process of its investigation, which could potentially change Missouri men's basketball coach Frank Haith's status within the investigation. 

The NCAA found improper conduct because a former NCAA staff member, who worked with Miami booster and current inmate Nevin Shapiro's defense attorney, improperly obtained information during the investigation through a bankruptcy proceeding that did not involve the NCAA.

Essentially, the NCAA had an attorney on its payroll that was representing Shapiro while also gathering information.

Monday, CBS reported, using an unnamed source, that the NCAA allegations surrounding the University of Miami could be released as early as this week. The report detailed several charges against Haith, who coached at Miami before coming to Missouri.

Mark Emmert, president of the NCAA, voiced his frustration on Wednesday during a teleconference, stating that it was “a very severe issue” regarding a critical flaw within the NCAA’s investigation.

Haith, who said Tuesday that he was looking forward to the process coming to an end, will have to wait longer to receive any type of closure.  

“We will not be issuing notices of allegations until after this investigation is concluded so that we’ve got great clarity as to what the nature of the circumstances are,” Emmert said. “We want to make sure that any evidence brought forward is appropriately collected and that it has the integrity that we expect and demand.”

Emmert said he hopes that investigators can conclude their work within the next two weeks and that any information collected improperly would be thrown out.

“We’re not going to continue to conduct more (investigating). We will use the information that was collected appropriately,” Emmert said. “My understanding is there’s a great amount of evidence that’s been compiled in this case, only some small portion of which has been the result of this conduct.”

It is unknown if information or evidence regarding Haith was collected inappropriately.

On Monday, the CBS report said Haith would be charged by the NCAA with unethical conduct and failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance during his time coaching at Miami. It’s an investigation that has taken more than a year and a half, stemming from his alleged role in the debacle surrounding Shapiro and the Miami football and basketball programs.

Back in August 2011, according to a Yahoo! Sports report, Shapiro claimed that Haith had knowledge of a $10,000 payment Shapiro made to one of Haith’s assistants, who then used that money to lure then basketball recruit DeQuan Jones.

According to the CBS report, the NCAA was unable to prove this claim but that Haith will still be charged with “unethical conduct because the NCAA did not believe his story that payments to his assistants intended for camp money did not wind up going to repay Shapiro.”

The report also alleged that Haith will be charged with failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance because of “impermissible airline travel that was given to the family of two (Miami) players from a member of his staff” and for allowing interactions between Shapiro and players while on college visits.

Judging by the new developments released by the NCAA on Wednesday, the allegations about Haith could potentially change.

Supervising editor is Greg Bowers.

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Richard Saunders January 23, 2013 | 5:11 p.m.

How can the actions of an NCAA staff member, not involve the NCAA? Further pursuing this logic, can the NCAA be involved in an investigation without the participation of any staff member? Can "it" act of "it's" own accord?

This is a very strange parsing of collective actions. It would be one thing to say the staffer acted outside of their rules, but to state that "they" were not involved when "they" clearly were is total nonsense.

Perhaps Coach was just given a "Get out of Jail Free" card?

I wonder who paid for that?

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