Miami receives notice of allegations
After two years of digging, the NCAA hit Miami with the four words that no school wants to hear: "Lack of institutional control."
And now, the Hurricanes have 90 days to prepare their rebuttal or harsh penalties might await.
With Miami President Donna Shalala firing back at the governing body of college athletics for the second time in as many days, the Hurricanes got their long-awaited notice of allegations on Tuesday, the worst charge being that the school failed to monitor conduct of a rogue booster who provided cash, gifts and other items to players on the football and men's basketball teams.
"We deeply regret any violations," Shalala wrote in the university's response, "but we have suffered enough."
The NCAA did not comment Tuesday, one day after it revealed it was erasing some elements of its case against Miami because the information was obtained through an alliance forged with Maria Elena Perez, the attorney for former booster and convicted felon Nevin Shapiro, whose claims are at the center of this scandal.
The institutional-control charge is typically one of the most severe the NCAA can bring after an investigation of rules violations. A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press about the lack of institutional control charge, and that some former members of Miami coaching staffs were named in the notice of allegations, including Missouri basketball coach Frank Haith, who was with the Hurricanes from 2004-11.
After his team beat No. 5 Florida on Tuesday night, Haith confirmed that he received the notice of allegation.
"There was no unethical conduct in my notice of allegation," Haith said. "And it is just an allegation, so we get a chance to defend ourselves."
Haith is alleged of failing "to promote an atmosphere for compliance," a charge specific to how he handled things when Shapiro allegedly wanted money in exchange for not going public with accusations that he paid to help the Hurricanes recruit a player.
Next up: The sanctions phase, where Miami's penalties will be decided. The Hurricanes already have self-imposed several sanctions, including sitting out two bowl games and a conference football championship game. Shalala said Monday when she first lashed out at the botched NCAA probe that she believes those punishments should be enough, and reiterated the same Tuesday.