COLUMBIA — Missouri men’s basketball coach Frank Haith said Thursday that he still has not received a notice of allegations from the NCAA regarding its ongoing investigation at the University of Miami.
By TEREZ A. PAYLOR
The Kansas City Star
“No, I haven’t,” Haith said during a brief teleconference. “If it (the allegations) does come out, we’ll let you know and talk about that when it does.”
Haith’s statement came after The Miami Herald reported that Haith’s attorney, Michael L. Buckner, backed up Haith’s longtime claims that he has been cooperating with the NCAA fully and “given the NCAA thousands of documents” at Haith’s own expense, the bill for which “has cost well into the thousands of dollars.”
“We talk to the NCAA all the time about the case and any pending issues coming up,” Buckner told The Herald. “But I’m not going to comment on any communication we’ve had. We haven’t received a notice of allegations from the NCAA and based upon our understanding of the evidence, we’re hopeful we won’t.”
Six months after Haith was hired at Missouri, Yahoo! Sports reported that a member of Haith’s staff at Miami — with the cooperation of jailed booster Nevin Shapiro — paid guard DeQuan Jones $10,000 to attend the school. Haith denied the allegation, and Jones was reinstated by the school after a brief suspension. The allegation was one of several accusations of impermissible benefits that were given to Miami athletes.
The Herald reported Saturday that individuals alleged with committing NCAA violations will soon receive notices and that two sources close to the investigation said they were told by the NCAA “to be available near their phones” on Monday to discuss allegations made against them.
Buckner told The Herald that while he and Haith are hopeful the NCAA does not issue any allegations based on “the facts the NCAA has,” they are prepared to “thoroughly” investigate any allegations issued.
“Whatever happens, everyone has to understand, these are just allegations,” Buckner told The Herald. “The enforcement staff has been wrong before. The university involved and the coaches themselves have to look at what the NCAA produces and conduct their own investigations. There have been times when the NCAA has made allegations against my clients and I’ve found glaring mistakes in the evidence — maybe they didn’t interview everybody they should have or reached a conclusion that wasn’t supported by the evidence.
“It’s the job of the attorneys or whoever is representing each of the parties to do independent vetting of the evidence and bring that information forward to the NCAA so that the complete situation can be presented before the Committee on Infractions.”
Bowers likely to sit again
Haith said senior forward Laurence Bowers, who has missed the last two games because of a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee, will likely miss Saturday’s game at Florida.
“I would anticipate him not playing moreso than playing because he hasn’t practiced,” Haith said. “I don’t anticipate him playing on Saturday, but obviously we’ve got two days to work.”
Haith said Bowers, who missed last season because of an injury to his other knee, has been working out with strength coach Todor Pandov and Pat Beckman.
“He does stuff on the sideline with Todor and Pat,” Haith said. “A lot of it is rehab stuff and getting (his) movement back. He hasn’t done anything live or contact or any of that stuff yet, so until he does that, I can’t anticipate him getting on the court.”
Bowers is Missouri’s leading scorer at 16.8 points per game.