Frank Haith’s petition to subpoena Bank of America employees has been denied by a federal judge in Florida.
By TEREZ A. PAYLOR
The Kansas City Star
Haith, Missouri’s men’s basketball coach, filed a Rule 27 petition — a tool used to collect testimony or evidence that could be used in a future lawsuit — on Monday to determine whether the bank shared detailed records from his personal business account during the NCAA’s two-year investigation of the University of Miami.
Pompano Beach, Fla., attorney Michael Buckner, who represents Haith, hoped the petition would at least lead to a hearing, which could have led to a judge allowing Haith’s lawyers to subpoena the bank and depose employees who may have had access to the account. It could have also prohibited the bank from destroying pertinent evidence.
But U.S. District Judge Robin Rosenbaum ruled Thursday that Haith had no basis for such a request and that he failed to satisfy the requirements for a hearing.
Buckner said he respects the court’s rationale behind the decision, but pointed out that the court did not rule on the validity of his client’s legal claims.
“What it has to do with is whether or not we could obtain the information without filing a lawsuit,” Buckner said. “The court is saying we won’t allow you to do it before you file, but you can do it after.”
Haith faces a June 14-16 hearing before the NCAA’s Committee of Infractions in which he can defend himself against the NCAA’s “failure to monitor” charge. Buckner said his client will explore several options, including filing a lawsuit against Bank of America.
Buckner made a case for avoiding the latter in the Rule 27 petition, arguing that it would be difficult to prepare for that and the NCAA case at the same time. But Rosenbaum disagreed, writing that Haith failed to prove that the current Miami investigation is interfering with his ability to bring a lawsuit against the bank.
“The question that’s still out there is who accessed Coach Haith’s bank account, and what do we do about it,” Buckner said. “We’ll huddle together in the next few days to determine the answer to that question.”
Haith first learned of the possible breach last October, when the NCAA — as part of its Miami investigation — requested he send microfiche copies of three checks to assistants totaling $9,600.
The petition stated that Haith’s wife then spoke to a Bank of America employee, who told her that those copies had already been previously viewed or ordered.
Buckner was adamant that they have no indication the NCAA is involved in the breach. But an affidavit submitted by Haith’s wife, Pamela, states that she and her husband first “became suspicious” on Sept. 5, 2012, when the NCAA’s enforcement staff demonstrated knowledge of specific information related to the three checks that Haith and his wife “could not locate from the bank statements and check images in our possession.”
Those suspicions were furthered in October, when they “were advised by the NCAA enforcement staff that a ‘source’ had informed the staff that a microfiche copy of the checks was available.” The NCAA declined to reveal the source of that information.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.