By Jeff Goodman
Ryan Boatright was cleared by the NCAA yesterday -- for the second time.
Boatright and his mother received more than $8,000 in impermissible benefits prior to and after he enrolled at UConn from an least two individuals linked to nonscholastic basketball and professional sports.
The NCAA posted specific information on its website yesterday, including the reasons why Boatright was granted limited immunity by the NCAA's Committee of Infractions.
His lawyer, Scott Tompsett, just sent an email to numerous media members concerning the information that the NCAA publicly released in reference to Boatright.
"I am astounded that the NCAA released confidential information about Ryan’s case. Ryan and his mother Tanesha cooperated fully with the NCAA with the clear understanding that the information they provided would be kept confidential and would not be released to the public. The NCAA has violated the Boatrights’ privacy by releasing their personal information.
Moreover, the NCAA’s statement contains false and misleading information. For example, the statement implies that the benefits in question were provided to influence Ryan’s decision either to attend UConn or choose an agent, if and when he goes pro. That is false and the NCAA knows it. In fact, the two individuals who provided the benefits are friends of the Boatrights. They were simply helping the family with no expectation of repayment or reciprocation. And there’s not a shred of evidence that they influenced Ryan’s decision to attend UConn or that they intend to represent Ryan if he ever goes pro. The public also should know that the NCAA never told Tanesha and Ryan who made the accusations about them or told them the substance of the accusations so they could defend themselves. Further, contrary to the NCAA’s statement, neither Tanesha nor Ryan received a car from anyone.
Until the NCAA released its statement, the Boatrights considered this matter closed. But the NCAA’s improper release of private and false information has caused the Boatrights to consider their legal options."
Scott W. Tompsett, Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP
UPDATE: The NCAA has responded to Tompsett's allegations with a statement of its own. Here goes:
<tt>"Scott Tompsett’s allegations are not accurate. The NCAA statement regarding Ryan Boatright is factual and in response to numerous public misstatements and the resulting inaccurate reporting by some media. The NCAA acted appropriately to ensure the misleading accounts did not continue. The NCAA did not violate the student-athlete or family’s privacy in anyway, nor did it imply that the benefits were used to influence Ryan Boatright to attend the University of Connecticut.
"In fact, both UCONN and Mr. Boatright should be commended for their cooperation throughout the process to gather information. The school and student-athlete’s dedication to uncover the facts should be viewed as a positive example, not somehow construed negatively. Had Ms. Boatright cooperated fully from the beginning, this matter could have been settled months ago"</tt>