NCAA plans to reach decision by October

by V. Paul

The NCAA is moving forward toward potential sanctions against the University for alleged violations in the men’s basketball program.
It recently informed the University there was sufficient evidence to believe there were violations of 23 different NCAA rules stemming from the alleged academic misconduct under former coach Clem Haskins.
The NCAA’s Committee on Infractions will meet Aug. 11-13 and will render its decision by mid-October.
“Our hope is the NCAA will find the self-imposed sanctions … will be sufficient,” said Mark Rotenberg, the University’s general counsel.
And, although individuals named in the scandal are no longer linked to the University, the NCAA can impose its own punishment on them, such as barring future participation in NCAA competitions and events, Rotenberg said.
After conducting its own investigation and reviewing the evidence disclosed by the University in November, the NCAA did not find any new allegations of cheating but wanted more information about the allegations the University initially reported.
Rotenberg does not think there is a chance new allegations will arise at this point, he said.
“The NCAA will be convinced that the University’s investigation was thorough and complete,” Rotenberg said.
In a letter to University President Mark Yudof, the NCAA requested the University send evidence regarding specific violations by July 12.
The violations include the more than 400 papers allegedly written by former basketball tutor Jan Gangelhoff for student-athletes, grade changes and alleged cash payments made by Haskins to student-athletes.
Although most of that information was already included in the University’s initial report, NCAA officials wanted it in a specific format and sent to the 11 infractions committee members.
The NCAA sent similar letters to Haskins, Gangelhoff and former academic counselor Alonzo Newby, requesting information about specific allegations involving them.
However, because the NCAA cannot force anyone to participate in its investigation and because of the looming federal investigation, Ron Rosenbaum, Newby’s attorney, does not think anyone, including Newby, will testify before the committee.
“I can’t imagine why Alonzo would cooperate with this investigation when he didn’t cooperate with the University’s and got fired for protecting his Fifth Amendment rights,” Rosenbaum said.
Jim Lord, attorney for Gangelhoff, said there is a good chance they will appear at the August hearing, although it will not be in the defensive mode.
“It was Jan Gangelhoff who brought these allegations to begin with,” Lord said.

V. Paul Virtucio welcomes comments at [email protected]