U selects legal counsel in investigation begins formal investigation

by Nicole Vulcan

The University signed contracts over the weekend with two legal firms to investigate allegations of academic misconduct within the Gopher men’s basketball program.
The investigations began March 22.
Tonya Moten Brown, chief of staff to University President Mark Yudof and coordinator for the investigation, said it is likely that the National Collegiate Athletic Association will play a role in the questioning of high profile witnesses, such as Jan Gangelhoff, the tutor who originally blew the whistle on the team, as well as key players and coaches.
Allegations made by former University tutors, who claim they were paid to write papers for members of the men’s basketball team, sparked a recent media explosion and prompted the University to seek outside investigators to deal with the matter.
Yudof announced the University’s selection of legal counsel March 19.
In an e-mail sent to University employees, officials in Yudof’s office said they anticipate the investigation will last approximately six months.
Law firms chosen for the investigation were Bond, Schoeneck, and King, a firm based in Kansas, and Halleland, Lewis, Nilan, Sipkins and Johnson of Minneapolis.
Michael Glazier, a former NCAA compliance officer, will lead the investigation with assistance from local lawyer Donald Lewis.
The University finished drawing up the contracts Friday, Brown said.
She said the University has opted to produce a fact-finding self-report, which will be presented to the NCAA for review.
The NCAA has three ways to deal with the matter: to wait for the University to report their findings, to conduct their own investigation, or to work in conjunction with the University on the investigation. Each matter presented to the NCAA is handled on a case-by-case basis.
Although the NCAA’s stance has not been released to the press, “the NCAA is in communication with the University,” said Jane Jankowski, a public relations representative for the organization.
The NCAA would not comment any further on the investigation.