What a difference 24 hours has made for Frank Haith and his Missouri Tigers ball club.
The former head coach of the Miami Hurricanes was facing some allegations – serious ones that would likely have brought his future with Missouri to a close on Friday – when allegations were due to be announced by the NCAA. But in the most unlikely of events to unfold in the eleventh hour, NCAA President Mark Emmert announced that the entire investigation into the Miami program was on hold.
The problem? Nevin Shapiro, the former Miami booster who is currently jailed for paying large sums of money to players and recruits, was using a lawyer for his defense that was on the NCAA’s payroll, creating a catastrophic conflict-of-interest.
To make matters worse, information about Shapiro was collected by the NCAA from his recent bankruptcy trial – records that the NCAA isn’t supposed to legally have.
With the findings now in the light, Emmert had no choice but to suspend the entire investigation into Miami on Wednesday.
The big question that looms large now for Missouri basketball fans is will this case get thrown out for improper handling? It certainly seems possible. Even if the NCAA were to move forward, Missouri would certainly have reasonable gripe to appeal any sanctions that would fall on Haith.
Emmert did comment on everything saying, “To say the least, I am angered and saddened by this situation. Trust and credibility are essential to our regulatory tasks. My intent is to ensure our investigatory functions operate with integrity and are fair and consistent with our member schools, athletics staff and most importantly our student-athletes.”
This is certainly a blunder for the NCAA, and one that will force them to re-evaluate their own internal procedures and protocols. But as far as Missouri and Frank Haith are concerned, they’re just as happy as they were last night when they pulled off a stunning comeback conference win against the South Carolina Gamecocks.