Tuesday’s bombshell report by Yahoo! Sports regarding countless alleged improprieties committed by the University of Miami may have serious ramifications on other schools and personnel.
In the report, newly hired Missouri basketball coach Frank Haith was described as being aware of a payment to a recruit who went on to sign with the University of Miami. Haith, of course, spent seven seasons at Miami before ultimately accepting his current position with Missouri last April.
As per the Yahoo! Sports report, Haith allegedly had knowledge of a $10,000 payment made by Nevin Shapiro to basketball player, DeQuan Jones in 2008. Currently, Jones is a senior at the school.
Late Tuesday evening, Haith released a statement on the matter:
"In response to a recent news article, I can confirm that the NCAA has asked to speak with me regarding the time I spent at the University of Miami," said Haith. "I am more than happy to cooperate with the national office on this issue and look forward to a quick resolution. The NCAA has instructed me not to comment further at this time in order to protect the integrity of their review, so I appreciate your understanding in this matter.
"The reports questioning my personal interactions with Mr. Shapiro are not an accurate portrayal of my character and per the above I am unable to comment further."
So, what does all this mean for Haith’s future with Missouri? It depends on how many of Shapiro’s claims can be corroborated and how well he can hold up against what will surely be a ton of scrutiny in the foreseeable future. Missouri, in general, has had a fairly pristine record in regards to their athletic department. The last thing anyone expected was for the school to have their reputation sullied this early in the Haith era.
The decision to hire Haith was met with skepticism from the very beginning, mostly as a result of his unimpressive track record. He wasn’t bad during his stint at Miami, however, he certainly wasn’t wowing anyone either. The idea behind the move was that he supposedly brought some necessary recruiting prowess and good character to a basketball program looking for someone they could get behind. With this scandal, everything that Missouri thought they had in their new coach could be proven to be false.
Interestingly enough, over at Miami, new coach Al Golden is reportedly unhappy with the school for not telling him that they were the subject of this damning investigation. Back in Missouri, the exact opposite happened. The coach that was hired conveniently left out the details of his wrongdoings back at Miami.
At this point, all any of the parties involved can do is wait and see what happens. It’s safe to say, though, that the chants for Haith’s head should begin sometime soon.