Sources: NCAA investigating Baylor
Baylor coach Scott Drew and the Bears men’s basketball program are being investigated by the NCAA for their involvement in the recruitment of a high school player from Colombia, sources have told FOXSports.com.
Attorney Jim Darnell, who also represented former USC and current UTEP coach Tim Floyd in dealings with the NCAA, confirmed to FOXSports.com he was hired by Drew in September.
FOXSports.com has also confirmed through sources that the NCAA is expected to be in Waco later this month to interview Drew and members of the Bears coaching staff. NCAA representatives did not respond to requests for comment.
Drew declined to comment when contacted by FOXSports.com.
The ongoing investigation surrounds the recruitment of 6-foot-9 Hanner Perea, a junior from Colombia who transferred to LaLumiere High School in Indiana.
Multiple sources confirmed that Baylor assistant coach Mark Morefield sent dozens of texts to Perea’s AAU and high school coaches in July while they were coaching events, which is against NCAA rules.
Morefield, according to sources, had already been suspended by the school and was not allowed to recruit on the road in July for previous texting infractions.
Morefield also sent a text to LaLumiere coach Alan Huss, which was obtained by FOXSports.com, saying that if Perea didn’t go to Baylor, he wouldn’t be back in the United States.
"I guarantee u if he does [commit to another school] he will be in Colombia for the spring and summer and next year. Don’t forget it,” the text said.
Both Huss and Indiana Elite coach Mark Adams — the recipient of Morefield’s texts in July while at a tournament in Louisville — declined to comment when contacted by FOXSports.com.
However, sources have told FOXSports.com that both have been interviewed by the NCAA and Baylor has self-reported the text violations involving Morefield.
Morefield did not respond to a FOXSports.com request for comment.
Drew took over an unenviable situation at Baylor in 2003 when he was hired from Valparaiso University. Baylor player Patrick Dennehy had been murdered by teammate Carlton Dotson and then-Baylor coach Dave Bliss was later forced to resign.
The program self-imposed sanctions, which included not being eligible for the postseason in 2003-04 — Drew’s first season in Waco.
The Bears finished either 11th or 12th in the Big 12 each of Drew’s four seasons. In their third season, the Bears weren’t even allowed to play any non-conference games.
However, Drew has found a way to recruit elite-level players to Waco and has led the Bears to the NCAA tournament in two of the last three seasons — including an Elite Eight berth last season in which Baylor lost to eventual national champion Duke.
Michigan transfer Epke Udoh became a lottery pick last June and the Bears could have a pair of first-round picks on their roster this season: Freshman forward Perry Jones and senior guard LaceDarius Dunn.
Dunn, the team’s top returning scorer at 19.6 points per game, was arrested on charges of aggravated assault last week and was suspended indefinitely from the team and the school following a domestic dispute with his long-time girlfriend.