COLUMBIA – A lawyer for Missouri men’s basketball coach Frank Haith says the coach has asked the NCAA to throw out the charges of NCAA violations made against him
One of Haith’s attorneys, Wally Bley of Columbia, Mo., said Monday that client his filed a motion to dismiss the NCAA’s case against him in the aftermath of the organization’s admission of misconduct in its own investigation of the University of Miami case.
Bley said Haith will now wait to hear back from the NCAA Committee on Infractions, which will decide whether to hold a preliminary hearing for all parties involved. Two of Haith’s former assistants at Miami — Jorge Fernandez and Jake Morton — and former assistant football coach Aubrey Hill have made similar requests, as has Miami.
“They’ll read the motions filed by the university and coaches and let us know if they’ll set a time in front of a representative of the Committee on Infractions,” Bley said. “The whole committee could consider it, although I think at this point they will let preliminary matters be handled by one representative of the committee.”
Bley declined to provide a copy of the motion but is optimistic he will receive a response from the NCAA fairly soon.
“I think we’ll know something more about the procedure about where it will go from here in the next couple of weeks,” Bley said.
The NCAA’s notice of allegations, presented to Haith in February, says that imprisoned booster Nevin Shapiro threatened to claim he had paid a Miami recruit unless Haith or Morton provided money to Shapiro. According to the NCAA, Haith failed to alert the athletic department, failed to ensure that Shapiro’s claim lacked merit or disclose Morton’s financial dealings with Shapiro. Instead, the notice says, Haith gave money to Morton that he then provided to Shapiro.
Haith has been accused of failure to monitor by the NCAA, which has resulted in recruiting restrictions and short suspensions for other coaches, including Baylor’s Scott Drew and Connecticut’s Jim Calhoun. He and the other former Miami coaches who received such notices are expected to be able to defend themselves in June in front of the committee.
However, an external review of the NCAA’s investigation of the Miami case released in February uncovered a messy trail of missteps and insufficient oversight by college sports’ governing body, and resulted in 20 percent of the gathered evidence being thrown out. This opened a window of opportunity for Miami and the accused to file motions to dismiss.
Bley said there have been instances where the NCAA has thrown out cases before the official hearing, “albeit rarely.” In the meantime, he and another one of Haith’s lawyers, Michael L. Buckner of Pompano Beach, say Missouri’s coach will continue to be patient and abide by the NCAA’s process.
“This is all uncharted territory for everybody, for all parties,” Buckner said. “We’ll be taking direction from the Committee on Infractions and abiding by any deadlines or schedule the set forth.”
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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