Blog Entry

Frank Haith tied to massive Miami scandal

Posted on: August 16, 2011 8:10 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2011 8:58 pm

By Matt Norlander

In the midst of what is immediately very likely the biggest college sports story of 2011, current Missouri -- and former Miami -- head coach Frank Haith doesn't look too good right now.

A meticulously detailed investigative report by Yahoo! Sports' Charles Robinson really levels Miami football. Scorched earth doesn't even begin to cover it; this is already considered among the most outrageous cases of rule-breaking in the history of the sport. But there are basketball implications here as well, and they connect primarily to Haith, who was the coach at Miami from 2004 through this past season.

Whether it was foresight or not, Haith's departure to another (and better) basketball program a few months ago could raise as many eyebrows now as it did then, when many thought Missouri made an underwhelming choice.

The dropquote below is the bombshell part, as far as Haith is concerned. It could absolutely get him fired from Missouri, should more information get uncovered. It relates to the central character of this scandal, Nevin Shapiro, who was a booster for the school tied to Ponzi money. Shapiro provided players with everything from cash to food to lodging to yacht rides to prostitutes and more. The worst of it all: Shapiro and other sources in the Yahoo! story implicate football and basketball coaches with knowing -- and active participation! -- this wrongdoing was going on.
Shapiro said he violated NCAA rules with the knowledge or direct participation of at least six coaches – Clint Hurtt, Jeff Stoutland and Aubrey Hill on the football staff, and Frank Haith, Jake Morton and Jorge Fernandez on the basketball staff. Multiple sources told Yahoo! Sports Shapiro also violated NCAA rules with football assistant Joe Pannunzio, although the booster refused to answer any questions about that relationship. Shapiro also named assistant football equipment manager Sean Allen as someone who engaged in rulebreaking, and equipment managers Ralph Nogueras and Joey Corey as witnesses to some of his impropriety.
Morton is now an assistant at Western Kentucky; Fernandez is currently an assistant at Marshall. Here's where Haith and Morton are implicated in a bad, bad way: the payment of recruits. One recruit, specifically. More from Robinson's report:
The booster said his role went one step farther with the basketball program, when he paid $10,000 to help secure the commitment of recruit DeQuan Jones. Shapiro said the transaction was set up by assistant coach Jake Morton in 2007 who acted as the conduit for the funds, and was later acknowledged by head coach Frank Haith in a one-on-one conversation.

Shapiro also entertained then-prominent AAU basketball coach Moe Hicks in October of 2008, with a nightclub visit that was attended by both Morton and Fernandez.

The photo of that nightclub trip is to the right, via the Yahoo! Sports story.

Tonight, in a statement released by Missouri, Haith said he will be happy to talk to NCAA about Shapiro and that the reports about his interaction with Shapiro "are not an accurate portrayal of my character."

In fact, here's Haith's statement in full:

"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. 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."

That's certainly better than a "no comment."

There are more details in the story that tie Haith to Shapiro, like the former Miami coach attending strip clubs with Shapiro (not illegal, but doesn't look good on the surface) and the fact Shapiro donated 50 grand to the men's basketball program as recently as 2008. That money was all fraudulent, all Ponzi money Shapiro admits in the Yahoo! story.

Miami athletics was arguably already the most notorious department in college sports before this; now it's been solidified. And while football will rightfully receive most of the attention, there are serious allegations and crimes tied to its former men's basketball staff, too, and those alleged wrongdoings won't be overlooked by the NCAA as this investigation begins to curdle.

Photo: AP
Category: NCAAB

Since: Jun 2, 2011
Posted on: August 17, 2011 11:17 pm

Frank Haith tied to massive Miami scandal

Really?!  Why would you want Mizzou's basketball program to go down in flames.  Is it now better for KU to have to play and beat a higher quality basketball program during the season?  Sure some easy victories would help pad the stats, but it won't doing anything to prepare KU for the tougher opponents in March.  But I guess its all fair since many MU fans say the same thing about KU's football program.  However, as a MU grad and sports fan I would rather see KU have a better football program has it helps with BCS rankings, not to mention a better game to watch.  This is part of the reason why the Big 12 conference is taking a huge nose dive.  We'd rather see programs in our own conference implode into a heaping pile of crap then focus on improving programs across the board to create a stronger and more competitive conference.  As the saying goes, "competitiion breads excellence."  And from the comments I've read and heard from Big 12 fans (from all teams including MU), excellence is something this conference seams to be in short supply.  Unfortunite but true.  Its been a sad past year to be a fan of a team in the Big 12. 

Since: Jun 2, 2011
Posted on: August 17, 2011 11:09 pm

Frank Haith tied to massive Miami scandal

Man, I wasn't high when they hired this guy to begin with... and now this mess comes out!  I'm hoping the allegations are not true, but you have to admit it doesn't look good.

Since: Sep 25, 2007
Posted on: August 17, 2011 10:40 am

Frank Haith tied to massive Miami scandal

It looks like Yahoo sports did a credible job of investigating the allegations and violations that supposedly occurred at Miami.  As far as coach Haith's involvement,  It is basically the 20 year prison mans word versus his that he acknowledged the alleged payment.  If the allegations are true, then of course the coach has to step up and take accountability for his actions.  He has a wonderful family that we have seen here at MU and if anything the man has to have better morals than doing the strip club thing.  Representing your University is one thing, compromising your values is another.  BTW  some of the photos also implicated the President of the University of Miami accepting money for the program so if there is a case for the Death Penalty in this case  they should get it.  MU's Mike Alden and his staff would not have found out anything on background in this case that does not occur at any institution.  Boosters, Donors, and Pledge Drives are what help programs build new facilities and show off the University to attract recruits.  It is the responsibility of the University to check out where the money is coming from and if they want to associate with the folks who are offering the money.  Every School does not have a Boone Pickens or a Phil Knight to underwrite their program

Since: Jan 21, 2010
Posted on: August 17, 2011 7:39 am

Frank Haith tied to massive Miami scandal

If the allegations against Haith are indeed true, not only should Missouri fire him, but Mike Alden should also be dismissed. I still can't get past the fact that Alden survivied the Ricky Clemons/Quin Snyder scandal, and for him to hire a coach who's track record not only involves mediocrity but possibly massive, flagrant NCAA violations, well, the MU alums ought to be demanding his firing. But as a Kansas fan, I'd love to see Alden stay and run the Mizzoodle basketball program into the ground with another bad hire. It would be a great thing if Miz-Who went 0-18 through the Big 12-minus-2. Smile

Since: Dec 2, 2007
Posted on: August 17, 2011 1:22 am

Frank Haith tied to massive Miami scandal

Can someone tell me how Mizzou couldn't do a better background check?  The school should let him go NOW and hope it can get someone in place in the next week to salvage the season.  This is horrible.  AD Mike do the right thing TONIGHT.

A Mizzou Grad


Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2011 12:33 am

Frank Haith tied to massive Miami scandal

Ok, so this story makes Ohio State, Tennessee, and UConn violations look like almost nothing. This blows the lid completely off one program. Is it indicative of many more? Isn't this atmosphere and attitude familiar with certain SEC schools? It hurts my stomach to read all of this (if you haven't read it please do. It is certainly a must-read story for anyone who cares about college athletics.)

The University looks really complicit in the story, especially after the compliance director became aware that Shapiro (the booster with hundreds of thousands in illegal benefits for Miami athletes) was also the part owner of a sports agency which was recruiting Miami athletes and then was silenced by higher people in the athletic department (or even in the President's office). The story touches former Secretary Donna Shalala, then President of the University. Hard to know what she knew from the story, but she is pictured with Shapiro and Haith taking his check for $50,000 for the University.

I can see how Missouri is shuttering tonight, about to be sucked up in this hurricane. Haith would do well to resign immediately and prepare to answer charges. How is MU going to recruit players to play under a coach who appears destined to be warned off from coaching college athletes. This is a sad day for college basketball and for University of Miami. The hubris exhibited by the school's players and former players over the past decade and more will surely come back to haunt them in this scandal. So sad.

Since: Mar 22, 2011
Posted on: August 17, 2011 12:13 am

Frank Haith tied to massive Miami scandal

I believe Quin Snyder's available.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: August 16, 2011 9:18 pm

Frank Haith tied to massive Miami scandal

How does Mizzou go into the season with this guy as a coach?  Yet who else are they going to get on short, what a mess for the Tigers let alone Miami.

Since: Sep 28, 2006
Posted on: August 16, 2011 9:06 pm

Frank Haith tied to massive Miami scandal

This is just sounding worse and worse.  I hope that these allegations are false but with college athletics being the way it is, they don't surpprise me at all.  Miami is probably going to get rocked on these.  They only thing we have going is the fact we are not trying to stonewall the NCAA.  At least by anybody that still works for the U. 

Rich boosters (especially criminals in first place), unless they donate only to the University, are one of the biggest dangers for every high level D1 team out there.  They pour hundreds of thousands into individual sports programs, then they are in trouble for giving a small portion to an individual players. 

Colleges acting like private business, courting money from boosters, then acting shocked, when the same boosters that they give access to, are slime.

Confederation of
Affluence and

Thats the NCAA

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