Last Wednesday the NCAA released the initial results of their investigation into violations committed within the men’s basketball program at the University of Missouri during Tulsa Coach Frank Haith’s time there. While Missouri has self-enforced penalties of its own—forfeiting wins from the 2013-2014 season, a post-season ban for 2015 and the loss of future scholarships for basketball—the reports cleared Haith’s name from any wrongdoings.
The violations were committed by two donors and a former assistant coach at Missouri. The NCAA found Missouri guilty of Level I, Level II and Level III violations. The first, a severe breach of contract, is described as “violations that seriously undermine or threaten the integrity of the NCAA collegiate model as set forth in the Constitution and bylaws, including any violation that provides or is intended to provide a substantial or extensive recruiting, competitive or other advantage, or a substantial or extensive impermissible benefit.”
In Missouri’s case a donor compensated members of the team for work that they didn’t actually perform in a summer internship program. The compensation included cash, iPads, meal and use of a local gym.
Level II violations, considered a significant breach of conduct, are “violations that provide or are intended to provide more than a minimal but less than a substantial or extensive recruiting, competitive or other advantage; includes more than a minimal but less than a substantial or extensive impermissible benefit; or involves conduct that may compromise the integrity of the NCAA collegiate model as set forth in the Constitution and bylaws.”
These violations were a result of another donor offering “friends-and-family” rates to players and their family for hotels and restaurants. A second Level II violation resulted from Missouri’s lack of vetting the internship that led to the Level I violation.
Finally a Level III violation is considered a breach of conduct “that is isolated or limited in nature.” These were a result of a former associate coach helping a recruit move by providing him with a donor’s number.
Scott Tompsett, Haith’s attorney, released a statement after the report came out saying that “Coach Haith cooperated fully with the investigation conducted by the NCAA enforcement staff and we have been informed by the enforcement staff that Coach Haith will not be charged with any violations and, therefore, has been cleared of any wrongdoings.”
“It has been Coach Haith’s position throughout this investigation that he acted appropriately at all times and that he monitored his program and promoted an atmosphere of compliance. The fact that the enforcement staff has not charged Coach Haith with any violations vindicates our position.”
He concluded by saying that, “Coach Haith wishes the best to the University of Missouri, its men’s basketball program and his former student-athletes in getting through this difficult time.”
Vice President and Director of Athletics, Derrick Gragg, responded to the report: “I read the details of the NCAA investigation of the men’s basketball program at the University of Missouri, and Golden Hurricane head men’s basketball coach Frank Haith was not named in any of the reports. Coach Haith has cooperated fully with the NCAA during this process and has not been accused of any wrongdoing during his tenure at Missouri.”
The only thing left to see now is whether the NCAA will add more to Missouri’s already self-enforced penalties.