UPDATED 8:45 p.m.
COLUMBIA, MO. • Twenty-nine weeks after the University of Missouri announced self-imposed sanctions for the men’s basketball program, the NCAA Committee on Infractions released its full report on Mizzou’s violations Tuesday, finding the school failed to monitor the basketball program when the violations occurred.
The NCAA accepted Missouri’s sanctions and added one year of probation through Aug. 1, 2017.
"As responsible members of the SEC and the NCAA, we chose to self-report potential violations of bylaws and self-impose certain sanctions," Missouri interim chancellor and interim athletics director Hank Foley said. "Today's release of the Summary of Findings by the NCAA is a clear indication this was a wise decision by the University and allows us to put these issues behind us as we continue to rebuild a top-notch basketball program."
"Through cooperation between NCAA personnel, the University of Missouri and our Mizzou Athletics staff, we are now able to draw this process to a close," basketball coach Kim Anderson said. "It has been my desire to move our program forward since learning of what had taken place. My staff and I are fully invested in our student-athletes and helping them achieve their goals on and off the court. Our program will continue to represent the University and the state of Missouri with honor and integrity."
On Jan. 13, Missouri said it had spent 19 months working with the NCAA enforcement staff to review potential NCAA violations that took place during Frank Haith’s time as head coach. The investigation uncovered Level I major infractions — two boosters giving impermissible benefits to Haith’s players dating back to 2011 — among other violations. The total amount of impermissible inducements and extra benefits provided by the boosters was $11,402. MU and the NCAA enforcement staff resolved the case through the summary disposition process in lieu of holding a formal hearing.
In January, Mizzou said there was no evidence Anderson and his staff were aware of the offenses.
Scott Tompsett, Haith's Kansas City-based attorney, released a statement Tuesday, saying, "Coach Haith cooperated fully with the NCAA's investigation and was not named in or held responsible for any of the violations.
"As the NCAA Infractions Report makes clear, violations happened while Coach Haith was at Mizzou and they continued after Coach Anderson became the head coach," he added. "The fact of the matter is that this is not a Frank Haith issue or a Kim Anderson issue; it's an issue of Mizzou as an institution not adequately monitoring the summer employment arrangement. That's what the NCAA found and Mizzou agreed. Coach Haith wishes the best to the University of Missouri and its men's basketball program."
MU’s self-imposed sanctions included a postseason ban for 2016, scholarship reductions, vacated wins and recruiting restrictions.
Here were the self-sanctions Missouri announced in January that the NCAA approved:
• Restitution and withholding from competition for impermissible benefits received by student-athletes. Jakeenan Gant was suspended for the first nine games of the 2014-15 season. The other players who received impermissible benefits were no longer with the program when MU launched the investigation.
• MU vacated all wins from the 2013-14 season. The Tigers were 23-13 that season under Haith, his last year at Mizzou.
• MU paid the NCAA a $5,000 fine.
• The basketball team self-imposed the loss of one scholarship in 2015-16 and an additional scholarship to be incurred no later than the 2017-18 season.
• MU placed restrictions on the recruiting activities of the basketball staff during the years of 2014-15 through 2016-17. Anderson’s staff is prohibited from talking to recruits on the phone for six weeks during the 2016-17 academic year.
• Former associate head coach Tim Fuller was prohibited from off-campus recruiting for three months.
• MU imposed a one-year postseason ban for the 2015-16 men’s basketball season, which included the SEC Tournament. MU will not receive league revenues from the 2016 tournament.
• MU permanently disassociated a booster, listed as Representative No. 1, and prohibited him from receiving tickets, making donations or otherwise representing the university. That booster was Mark Tuley, the CEO of T3 Solutions, a national intelligence company based out of Martinez, Ga. The Huntsville, Mo., native attended Mizzou from 1998-2000.
• MU disassociated Representative No. 2 for a period of two years, prohibiting he and his wife from receiving tickets, making donations or otherwise representing the university. He’s described in the NCAA report as the “general manager of a popular resort in Missouri.” Sources have identified that booster as Fred Dehner, the general manager of Tan Tar A Resort at the Lake of the Ozarks.
Tuley was found to have provided improper benefits to four players during two-week summer internships in 2013 and 2014. The players were paid between $1,000 and $1,1000 for work not performed, the report said. Other extra benefits included housing, cash, transportation, access to a local gym, iPads and meals amounting to $10,436. They were ruled Level I major violations of NCAA bylaws.
The players have since been identified as Jordan Clarkson, Tony Criswell and Cam Biedscheid. Gant also took part in the internship before his freshman season had started in the fall of 2014.
Tuley was also found to have multiple impermissible recruiting contacts with an unnamed recruit from Augusta, Ga. Tuley and Fuller attended a private workout at the player’s high school and Tuley later talked to the recruit three times — once in person, at least twice on the phone — about attending Mizzou. A source confirmed that player was Ahmed Hill, an Augusta native who chose Virginia Tech over Mizzou. Tuley also paid for dinner for a recruit’s nonscholastic coach. Tuley’s interaction was considered a Level III violation.
From July 2011 to July 2014, Dehner was found to have provided impermissible benefits to 11 players and three members of a players’ family. The benefits included reduced rates at his hotel, plus meals and a free two-hour ride on his recreational boat. Also, a student manager provided transportation to three players from Columbia to the resort at the Lake of the Ozarks. The value of the extra benefits amounted to $966. This was considered a Level II violation.
The panel faulted Mizzou’s compliance department for not properly vetting the summer internship jobs and following up to request documentation at the end of the 2013 and 2014 internships.
“The institution unduly relied on (Tuley’s) inaccurate representations about the nature and validity of the internship he set up at his company site out-of-state without fully vetting the employment opportunity to ensure compliance with NCAA legislation,” the report said.
“However, the institution disclosed during the investigation that (Tuley) made attempts to deceive its athletics compliance staff to avoid detection of the true nature of his ‘internship’ program. One example includes (Tuley) claiming during his interview with the enforcement staff and the institution that he changed the internship policy to accommodate the local transportation needs of the student-athletes but he did not reveal this ‘change’ to the institution.”
The enforcement panel noted Mizzou’s “exemplary cooperation,” “collaboration” and “quest for the truth,” saying the school’s cooperation “went above and beyond the expectations embodied within the cooperative principle.”
As part of its one-year probation Mizzou is eligible for postseason play for the 2016-17 season but must do the following:
• Continue to implement a educational program on NCAA legislation to instruct coaches, faculty athletics representative, all athletics department personnel and staff.
• Submit a preliminary report to the NCAA Committees on Infractions by Sept. 30, 2016 with a schedule for establishing this educational program.
• File with the Committees on Infractions annual compliance reports indicating the progress made with this program by June 15, 2017.
• Inform in writing to basketball recruits that the program is on probation for one year and detail the violations committed.
• Publicize information on the infractions with a link to the public infractions report on the athletic department's web site and in the team’s media guide.
Also, MU’s records for the men’s program and Haith’s records must reflect the vacated wins. Tulsa and any school that subsequently hires Haith must also reflect the vacated wins. Haith may not count the vacated wins toward victory "milestones." Any public reference to these vacated games shall be removed from MU stationery, public banners or any public areas.
Also, as part of the penalties, the current coaches have prohibited players from visiting Tan Tar A and Mizzou will now only approve internships for men’s basketball players within the state.
How did this all start? In December 2013, the NCAA received a tip from a confidential source alleging potential violations involving an unnamed Missouri player. In April 2014, the NCAA enforcement staff couldn’t substantiate the allegation but came across additional information regarding a Missouri recruit. On April 14, the enforcement staff issued a verbal notice of inquiry to Mizzou. Four days later, Haith accepted the head-coaching job at Tulsa.
On Nov. 16, 2015, Mizzou agreed to process the case through summary disposition. On Feb. 8, 2016, MU and the enforcement staff submitted the report to the Committee on Infractions panel. The panel requested more information in March then accepted the self-imposed penalties on June 7.
The panel sought additional information on a Level III violation and later withdrew the violation from the report. That violation, from MU’s original January report, said the team’s associate head coach (Fuller) helped in the relocation of a recruit (Gant) by providing the phone number of the prospect’s mother to a donor (Dehner). The family paid a market rate for a rental home, MU’s report said. Fuller’s actions were in violation of NCAA bylaws, but the NCAA panel dropped that violation from its findings. Fuller left Mizzou’s staff after the 2014-15 season and now serves as special assistant to the athletics director at Harris-Stowe State.
On July 8, the panel suggested the additional probation penalty to Mizzou, plus additional terms and conditions for disassociation of Tuley, Dehner and Dehner’s wife.
The panel members who reviewed Missouri's case were Michael F. Adams, chancellor, Pepperdine University; Gregory Christopher, athletics director at Xavier University; Melissa Conboy, chief hearing officer and deputy director of athletics at the University of Notre Dame; Jack Ford, legal analyst for CBS News; Alberto Gonzales, dean of the law school at Belmont University and former attorney general of the United States; Joseph Novak, former head football coach at Northern Illinois University; and David Roberts, vice president for athletics compliance at the University of Southern California.