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Errors were minor ones, Mizzou says

Will the NCAA tote up the infractions the same way?
Sunday, July 4, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 8:33 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 7, 2008

How many minor NCAA infractions add up to one major infraction?

There’s no definite answer, but the athletics authority has the option to collectively consider multiple secondary violations allegedly committed by the MU basketball staff as one major violation.

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Ricky Clemons

MU first made the 197-page response public Friday. At a final review of the case in August, the NCAA Enforcement Staff will decide whether to levy a penalty for a major infraction on the program. The infractions committee will then make a final ruling on the allegations.

Major violations, those that provide “an extensive recruiting or competitive advantage,” carry possible penalties ranging from probation to a ban on postseason play.

Jeff Howard, NCAA director of public relations, said the Committee on Infractions, which makes the final ruling on infractions cases, rules whether multiple secondary violations constitute a major violation on a case-by-case basis.

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Quin Snyder

“Each case is looked at differently,” Howard said on Saturday. “If they (the NCAA Enforcement Staff) get to a point where they feel as though a major violation has occurred, they inform the Committee on Infractions.”

The enforcement staff will notify both MU and the infractions committee about which alleged violations in the MU case they consider major at a final review in August.

MU sent its response to the allegations Wednesday to NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis. The document was made public on the MU News Bureau Web site Friday afternoon.

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Lane Odom

Former associate coach Tony Harvey has filed a separate response to the NCAA, which the university plans to make public this week.

In its response, MU asked that allegations concerning impermissible phone calls to recruits, transportation provided to recruits by coaches and impermissible meals hosted at coaches’ homes be considered secondary in nature.

University officials reasoned that phone calls were made because of a lack of communication between coaches regarding who was contacting the recruits. They also noted that NCAA rules on the number of meals a recruit or student-athlete could receive were amended during the time of the investigation because it was too strict. Therefore, alleged impermissible meals should not be regarded as a violation, the university said.

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Tony Harvey

The university agreed to charges that head basketball coach Quin Snyder and his wife, Helen, provided gifts of Nike apparel to former player Ricky Clemons. But, the university said, these gifts were originally provided to the Snyders at no charge, so there was no extra value to Clemons.

But MU’s response to an allegation that former assistant coach Lane Odom arranged for a prospective student-athlete to stay in the apartment of an MU athlete for two weeks was peculiar.

MU disputed Odom’s involvement in the arrangements, but agreed that the prospective student-athlete stayed in the MU athlete’s apartment at no cost for two weeks.

Seven pages of testimony from Odom and the MU athlete on the matter were redacted. But the document revealed that Odom testified that he had not inquired about the prospective student-athlete’s accommodations and that he had only seen him at the Hearnes Center during his stay. Odom and the university agreed he should have been more aware of the prospective student-athlete’s accommodations.

MU disputed a more serious allegation — that associate coach Tony Harvey gave $250 to Clemons. The university said Clemons’ claims of receiving the money were unreliable. At one point, MU said, Clemons claimed he received more than $1,000 from coaches but later revised his statement. Clemons also knew that the NCAA Enforcement Staff had his bank records, which showed a $200 deposit in November 2002, the time of the alleged payment, MU said. Clemons fashioned his testimony to the match the records, saying he kept $50 for himself, MU said.

In the response, MU said it had imposed several penalties against Snyder for not adequately monitoring NCAA compliance rules among his staff on occasion. The university noted, however, that Snyder did not “lack the desire” for his staff to comply.

The basketball program will lose one scholarship for the 2005-06 season, bringing it down to 12. Snyder was put on two years’ probation effective July 1, and during that time he must attend seminars on NCAA rules compliance. His salary has been frozen for the probationary period.


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