CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) _ Two former Miami assistant coaches have been told they will be charged with “unethical conduct” when the NCAA presents the Hurricanes’ athletic department with its notice of allegations, said two people familiar with the situation.
The people spoke to The Associated Press Monday on condition of anonymity because neither the NCAA or Miami have announced the contents of the long-awaited letter, which the Hurricanes may receive at any time. The people say the coaches will be cited for violating NCAA bylaw 10.1, a broad rule that covers conduct and cooperating with investigations. One of the coaches has been told to expect arrival of an actual copy of the allegations on Tuesday, one person told the AP.
Parties who are named in the notice of allegations are entitled to a copy, though it is unclear if all will receive the letter simultaneous to its delivery at Miami. It’s unknown how many current and former coaches and staff members will be charged with wrongdoing.
The NCAA does not comment on ongoing investigations. Miami officials have said throughout the investigation, which started in 2011, that the school is cooperating with the NCAA and will decline extensive public comment out of respect to that process.
The people told the AP that Miami still has not seen a final version of the notice of allegations, the arrival of which will essentially bring just the first chapter of this Miami-NCAA saga to a close. Several people involved with the process have either reviewed draft documents or been advised of their upcoming mentions in telephone calls with investigators. Most of those calls took place last week.
Another individual who was interviewed during the joint inquiry told the AP that the NCAA has not been in contact since. That suggests not everyone who at one time was thought to be under investigation will not actually be mentioned in the notice of allegations.
Earlier this month, Miami coach Al Golden said he did not expect the university to be surprised by the NCAA’s findings. Several people involved in the investigation said Miami has had representation at many interviews the NCAA conducted with persons it found to be of interest.
A CBSSports.com report published Monday said that the NCAA could not prove former booster and convicted Ponzi scheme architect Nevin Shapiro’s claim that former Miami men’s basketball coach Frank Haith or a member of his Miami staff paid $10,000 to the family of former Hurricanes’ player DeQuan Jones. Shapiro has said that he provided that money.
Jones was suspended by Miami last season after Shapiro’s claims were published in August 2011 by Yahoo Sports, then ultimately allowed to return to the team.
CBSSports.com also said Haith will face the “unethical conduct” charge because of inconsistencies the NCAA found in his account of Jones’ recruitment. CBSSports.com also said Haith will be charged with “failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance” because relatives of two players were given impermissible airline travel.
“The University has been in communication with the NCAA regarding their ongoing efforts related to the University of Miami investigation,” Missouri said in a statement. “Coach Haith and the University of Missouri continue to cooperate fully. However, we are not at liberty to comment further out of respect for the NCAA process.”
One of those players, current senior Reggie Johnson, was suspended for a game last season after Miami and the NCAA found members of his family accepted what they called “impermissible travel benefits.” And guard Durand Scott, the Hurricanes’ leading scorer, was for the end of last season and the start of this season after he was also found to have gotten unspecified extra benefits.
Whenever the actual letter arrives, Miami’s receipt of the notice of allegations will usher in the start of the sanctions phase.
And that could take months _ meaning actual penalties may not be handed down until this summer, or later.
Typically, schools and individuals named in the notice of allegations have 90 days to file a response to the NCAA’s findings, all of which would be reviewed by the committee on infractions _ which operates separately from the NCAA’s investigative arm.
Some of the sanctions have already gone into effect, since they were self-imposed. Miami’s football team has missed three postseason games _ two bowl games and what would have been an appearance in this season’s Atlantic Coast Conference championship game _ in response to the investigation, and Golden is holding back a number of scholarships from the 2013 roster as well.
Shapiro, the former booster, is serving a 20-year sentence in federal prison for masterminding a $930 million Ponzi scheme. Virtually all of the individuals who were named by Shapiro in his detailed claims that were published by Yahoo Sports are no longer at the university, and several of the people to whom the NCAA wanted to talk simply refused during the inquiry.
The NCAA inquiry started several months before that August 2011 article.
*Pictured above is jailed Ponzi schemer Nevin Shapiro.