Sources: Botched investigation favors Haith

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Two sources close to the NCAA investigation
into Missouri basketball coach Frank Haith said that if the case against
Haith were in a court of law “it would be thrown out.”
 
One
source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the NCAA’s recent
admission that it had uncovered improper conduct within its own
enforcement program during the investigation of Haith could mean that
much of the alleged evidence against Haith is tainted.
 
The NCAA
admitted that its enforcement program had no authority to obtain
information through bankruptcy proceedings of disgraced Miami booster
Nevin Shapiro, who reportedly paid $10,000 to a family member of former
Miami player DeQuan Jones and then reportedly was repaid by a member of
Haith’s staff while Haith was at Miami.
 
The NCAA also admitted
that former enforcement staffers paid, without authorization, the
defense attorney for Shapiro to improperly obtain information through
those bankruptcy proceedings.
 
NCAA president Mark Emmert said
last week, “We have no interest in pursuing a case based on information
garnered through inappropriate behavior.”

But Emmert added, “We have a great amount of evidence compiled and only some portion of it is a result of this conduct.”
 
Emmert did not indicate what specific information was obtained through improper conduct by the enforcement program.
 
But
a source said that there could be a “ripple effect” of how the improper
information against Haith was obtained, meaning some of the questions
asked during the investigation may not have even been considered without
first obtaining the improper information.
 
“That could put into question almost all of the information obtained,” the source said.
 
CBSSports.com,
citing an anonymous source, had reported last week that Haith was
expected to receive a letter of allegations from the NCAA within a week.
But the NCAA indicated it would not move forward with a notice of
allegations (NOA) until it had completed an external review of the
enforcement program, a process that could take weeks.
 
It is
possible, too, that the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions may throw out
the case against Haith if it finds the procedural errors committed
during the investigation “damage the NCAA’s credibility,” the source
said.