What Clem left unsaid

Yesterday, former men’s basketball coach Clem Haskins finally admitted what many people had suspected for a long time: He gave $3,000 to Jan Gangelhoff after she was disassociated from the program. National Collegiate Athletic Association lawyers were able to gain access to Haskins’ personal finances that had been previously denied to University officials. Even without his records, the University investigation concluded Haskins was the only “reasonable source” of the money and eventually bought out his contract for $1.5 million.
An important issue now facing the University is whether it should take some legal recourse against Haskins to retrieve the money used to buy out his contract. Beyond that, there is the wider issue of how this revelation — long thought to be true but not confirmed until now — will affect the shape of this scandal.
Haskins has yet to acknowledge he intended the $3,000 as a payoff to Gangelhoff for tutoring his basketball players. Any attempt of his to explain why he gave Gangelhoff the money would of course be met with skepticism, but his silence on this matter is incriminating. Haskins’ continual denial of involvement with the payments and cheating has always been a dubious assertion. For someone who was that involved with all the principal characters of the scandal, ignorance of the situation would have almost been impossible.
It is understandable why Haskins would have denied involvement with the situation. The allegations will be a blight on the University and all persons involved for years to come. The self-sanctions the University has imposed will also create a legacy not soon forgotten. Haskins’ role in this — no matter how unintentional — and his deceptions should not come without consequence. Although the University’s contract with Haskins does not allow either party to sue the other, the University should do everything it can to recover the $1.5 million buyout of his contract. Regaining the money will perhaps heal wounds and begin to bring a sense of closure to the entire scandal that has afflicted our campus.