COLUMBIA, Mo. — Mike Alden is standing by his man.
For now, at least.
“Shoot, after 20 months, you know, I’m just — I think of all of us are just pleased (to say), ‘Good, let’s go ahead and get this, go ahead and deal with it and move forward,'” Alden, Missouri’s athletic director, said when asked late Tuesday night about NCAA notice of allegation sent to his embattled men’s basketball coach, Frank Haith.
“You know, I’m looking forward to working with Frank for a long time. And he’s done great things here with us, and we look forward to continuing to do great things.
“And I’ll be just glad that we’ve got it, we can deal with it, and move forward. So it’ll be good.”
Although in this case, “good” is relative. According to reports, Haith’s old employer, the University of Miami, was given notice by the NCAA earlier in the day for “lack of institutional control” within its athletic department. That notice included allegations against Haith, who coached the Hurricanes from 2004-11.
“I did get a notice of allegations,” Haith said after his Tigers upset No. 5 Florida, 63-60, at Mizzou Arena. “I did spend some time with Mike right this evening after the game (to explain it).
“Contrary to what was reported, there was no unethical conduct in my notice of allegations. And it’s just allegations, so we’ll get a chance to defend ourselves. My attorney’s here, and he’s going to forward that to Mike (Alden) and his staff here (Tuesday).
“The biggest thing I want to tell you is: I’m glad this thing is almost over with. Thank you.”
Former Miami booster Nevin Shapiro has alleged that Haith was aware of a $10,000 payment to then-Hurricanes recruit DeQuan Jones. Haith and Jones’ family have denied the charges.
CBSSports.com had reported that Haith was expected to face NCAA charges for unethical conduct and failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance at Miami.
An unethical conduct charge against Haith could have led to a three-year show-cause penalty from the NCAA, a potential career-killer.
Miami is contesting further sanctions, and Haith is expected to do the same, especially as the NCAA has revealed Monday that the investigation was compromised by payments to Shapiro’s attorney.
An external review of the NCAA’s practices revealed that roughly 20 percent of the information gathered during the Miami investigation was “tainted” and will be thrown out.
Haith has 90 days to respond in writing. And as to whether his job with the Tigers would be in danger…
“Well, again, we haven’t seen anything; Frank just filled me in right before the press conference and everything,” Alden said. “And I’m just glad, again, that we’ll have some resolutions.
“It’s 20 months. Are you kidding? Really? Twenty months. How… interesting this process has been, if I may say it that way.”
Like the Hurricanes, the Tigers just want a swift resolution — and the quicker, the better. When asked if he still had faith in the NCAA’s process after it admitted wrongdoing in the Miami investigation, Alden paused.
“I don’t know if I really am in a good position to talk about that right now,” the Mizzou administrator replied. “It’s certainly has been a very interesting time, and certainly the pattern of what we’ve seen has been really interesting.
“So I know that there are probably many of us out there that certainly have been probably surprised by a lot of these things, and how those things get dealt with going forward, I think that’s a pretty big national issue. So I’ll look forward to seeing how the NCAA recommends that they’re going to be dealing with some of those things going forward… no, but with us, we’re glad there’s gong to be some closure, so this can move forward.”