MU athletic department officials said Thursday that an internal review has found no evidence that Tony Harvey, assistant head coach, broke university rules by trading football and men’s basketball tickets for painting work on his house.
“We have reviewed the situation and we’ve found nothing to substantiate any of the allegations (against Tony Harvey),” said Tim Hickman, associate athletic director of business operations. “We reviewed ticket requests plus what employees purchased. I know he’s bought both football and basketball tickets.”
Hickman said the review consisted of tracking ticket requests and purchase records of athletic department employees. But he couldn’t recall how many tickets Harvey had bought or whether Harvey had ever requested additional free basketball and football game tickets.
Ken Hensel, a Columbia house painter, claimed in a lawsuit filed in Boone County Circuit Court that Harvey failed to pay him nearly $5,000 for work done on his house last summer.
Harvey has acknowledged he gave Hensel tickets but said he did not break any NCAA or MU rules barring the private use of university property. If Hensel’s allegations were proved, Harvey would be in violation of university rules, Hickman said.
Two, four or eight complimentary season tickets to football or men’s basketball games are available to athletic department employees, depending on their compensation packages, said Mario Moccia, MU’s senior associate athletic director.
Employees must submit written request forms to receive additional tickets for specific football and basketball games. The tickets must then be authorized by Moccia and the operations department, Moccia said.
Traditionally, the athletic department is more flexible about distributing extra free football tickets than basketball tickets because of Faurot Field’s bigger seating capacity and lower demand to attend football games, he said.
Moccia was also uncertain whether Harvey had ever requested additional complimentary tickets to football or basketball games. He said each employee is required to state the reason for wanting the tickets, and the requests are then evaluated.