Former Missouri associate head coach Tim Fuller does not expect to be named when the NCAA’s final report on its 19-month joint investigation into major rules violations within the MU men’s basketball program is released.
Missouri announced several infractions along with self-imposed sanctions Wednesday, banning the program from this postseason and vacating all 23 wins from the 2013-14 season.
Among the allegations Mizzou acknowledged between 2011-14, a former associate head men’s basketball coach violated NCAA bylaws by assisting in the relocation of a prospective student-athlete and providing the phone number of prospect’s mother to a donor for rental housing, a Level III infraction that is considered minor.
Fuller was the only assistant on the Tigers’ men’s basketball staff with the title of associate head coach during that timeframe, but his attorney, Wally Bley, disputed his client’s involvement. According to a release from Bley’s office Friday, “Tim Fuller was totally cooperative in every aspect of the investigation. At the conclusion of this investigation, no allegation against Tim Fuller has been made by the NCAA, and he is not accused of having committed and NCAA violation.”
Asked to clarify given the allegations laid out by Missouri, Bley wrote to The Star in an email: “The NCAA has not named Tim in any allegation of infraction and he is not at risk for any punishment. The deal between the University (of Missouri) and the NCAA is between them. Tim has not participated in reaching any agreement (and has not been invited). The University is agreeing to accept responsibility for a phone number being provided to a recruit’s mother; that does not mean or imply that Tim agrees with that. Tim is not making any comment on any agreement reached between MU and the NCAA.”
Bley also added that “it is my understanding that Tim will not be named” in the NCAA’s final report.
Fuller was the lead recruiter in landing sophomore forward Jakeenan Gant, who moved from Springfield, Ga., to the Lake of the Ozarks after his senior high school season. Multiple sources told The Star the donor who received La’Kenia Gant’s number to facilitate housing, identified as Representative #2 in Mizzou’s infractions release, was long-time Missouri booster Fred Dehner, the general manager at Tan-Tar-A resort.
Representative #2 also was found in Mizzou’s release to have provided impermissible benefits to 11 student-athletes and three family members of a student-athlete in the form of a reduced hotel rate, meals and a recreational boat ride, Level II infractions that are considered major.
Missouri announced that it would disassociate with Representative #2, identified to The Star as Dehner, for a period of two years, prohibiting him from receiving tickets, making donations or otherwise representing the university.
The most serious infractions involved another donor, named in Missouri’s release as Representative #1 and identified to The Star as Mark Tuley, the president of T3 Solutions in Martinez, Ga. Representative #1 was found in Mizzou’s release to have provided impermissible benefits to three men’s basketball players — Gant and former Tigers Jordan Clarkson and Tony Criswell, according to multiple sources — as well as a prospective student-athlete in 2013-14.
Those benefits included a no-show internship through which the players were compensated for work-not-performed. Representative #1 also provided housing, $520 cash, local transportation, iPads, meals and arranged for the use of a local gym, all NCAA violations.
Missouri’s compliance department was cited with a Level II infraction for failure to adequately monitor the internship program by not vetting it properly and not requesting follow-up documentation after the internships concluded.
Clarkson and Criswell, who both last played for Missouri in 2013-14, took part in the internship in 2013 when Frank Haith remained the Tigers’ head coach, but Gant’s involvement in the internship was in the summer of 2014, after second-year coach Kim Anderson had been hired. But according to Missouri’s findings, neither Anderson nor any current staff members were aware of the violations.
Gant, who has averaged 5.0 points and 2.8 rebounds in 39 games during the last two seasons, was suspended for the first nine games of the 2014-15 season as Mizzou and the NCAA investigated his eligibility, the university said at that time.
Clarkson, who played two seasons at Tulsa before transferring to Missouri before the 2012-13 season, averaged 17.5 points and 3.4 assists in his only season with the Tigers. He declared for the NBA Draft after his junior season in 2013-14 and was a second-round pick, landing with the Lakers.
Criswell, an Oklahoma City native who started his college career at Alabama-Birmingham, transferred to Missouri for 2012-13 after one season at Independence (Kan.) Community College. He averaged 4.5 points and 4.1 rebounds in 59 career games.
Tuley, who MU has permanently disassociated with, also committed a Level III infraction by having illegal contact with a recruit and paying for a meal for a non-scholastic coach, according to the MU release.
The Star’s attempts to reach both Tuley and Dehner were unsuccessful.