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MU officials respond to NCAA allegations

Friday, July 2, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 9:35 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

University officials responded today to NCAA allegations of infractions committed by MU's men's basketball program, saying the violations are "isolated or inadvertent" and "do not result in more than a limited competitive or recruiting advantage."

The 197-page document was posted on the MU News Bureau Web site -- web.missouri.edu/~news/.

The NCAA's investigation began after reports that former player Ricky Clemons received improper academic assistance from tutors. Clemons also claimed he received cash from coaches.

MU received a Letter of Allegations from the NCAA in May, detailing several recruiting violations allegedly committed by basketball coaches, including buying recruits meals and providing them with transportation. Associate head coach Tony Harvey was accused of paying Clemons $250 by the NCAA. He is also accused of falsifying an expense report for meals bought for Amateur Athletic Union coaches and players.

Both Harvey and assistant coach Lane Odom have resigned.

MU is "disappointed and embarrassed to be involved in an investigation of this nature," the document said.

Athletic department spokesman Sam Fleury said he could not comment on the report.

The university has self-imposed two year's probation on the basketball program, in which coach Quin Snyder must attend educational seminars on NCAA rules.

MU will issue a public letter of reprimand to Snyder, and he will be restircted from off-campus recruiting for a week this month, which is a crucial time for recruiting new players. The response includes 14 self-imposed penalties and 11 corrective measures the university intends to establish.

MU agreed that Snyder failed on occasions to "ensure an adequate environment of compliance among his staff."

MU did not dispute the charge that Harvey bought meals for Amateur Athletic Union coaches and players, but they did dispute that Harvey falsified expense reports for the meals. They reasoned that "Harvey's intention was to eliminate the negative perceptions that he felt plagued the university and to repair its image, especially in the African-American community" and not to gain a recruiting advantage.

But the university's document did say the NCAA Enforcement Staff's evidence supporting the allegation that Harvey gave former player Clemons $250 was "totally insufficient. Furthermore, the evidence to the contrary is compelling."

See Sunday's Missourian for more details.


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