Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Major Recruiting Violations at UConn

Sportscenter is reporting major violations by UConn in their recruitment of Nate Miles. There are multiple issues here. The first is that UConn made 1,565 phone calls and texts between 2006-2008 to Miles and those close to him Nochimson while recruiting Miles, which well exceeds the one call a month you are allowed.

Nochimson, who can be considered a representative of UConn's "athletic interests", also reportedly provided Miles with lodging, meals, transportation, and representation from an agent. The agent was former UConn manager Josh Nochimson.

Apparently, this was discovered because Nochimson, who was Rip Hamilton's agent and business manager, alledgedly stole over $1 million from the former Husky star. Through that investigation, the UConn violations were discovered.

It is still early, and we will have more on this later in the day as the facts keep coming in.

UPDATE: Miles wasn't the only UConn recruit shepherded by Nochimson. According to reports, he also led Sudanese refugee Ater Majok, who is currently enrolled at UConn and cleared to practice with the team, to a high school all-star game in Louisville.

The biggest issue for UConn is what this means for the program. From an Andy Katz report:

Katz reported that, according to a source with direct knowledge of NCAA procedures, based on the level of detail in the Yahoo! Sports report, the NCAA is expected to look into the allegations. According to the source, the decision on how to proceed should come quickly, possibly within the next 24 hours. But the ensuing investigation could take months.

The NCAA likely will focus on the amount of telephone calls made, whether the coaches knew that Miles had a relationship with a registered agent who also was a UConn alumnus, and if they did know, to what degree, the source said. Kelvin Sampson's case of impermissible phone calls at Indiana brought about a tweaking in an NCAA bylaw that may apply, according to the source. The NCAA now has a possible violation description that details a lack of "coach control." The coach, according to the source, is obligated to create an atmosphere of compliance.

Going forward, UConn is expected to take the approach that it will defend itself to the NCAA, rather than sound off publicly, despite public opinion that would likely work against it as an investigation unfolds. UConn is also expected to defend the nature of the calls to Nochimson, in particular claiming that at least one of the lengthy calls made by Calhoun -- a 58-minute call in 2007, while Miles was attending Calhoun's summer basketball camp -- was about Hamilton, not Miles.
Now, the question turns to Jim Calhoun. Given his deteriorating health (three time cancer survivor, missed the first round game this year with dehydration, the third time he has missed all or part of a tournament game) and this impending investigation, if the Huskies make a run to the Final Four or even the title, would this not be a good time for Calhoun top ride off into the sunset?

It would be a shame for all the kids currently on the roster (or would it? If UConn so blatantly violated NCAA regulations recruiting Majok and Miles, would it surprise anyone if the rest of the roster was "bought" as well?) if this distraction cost them a chance at the title and they lost to Purdue on Friday.

Interesting read - Billy Packer and Bobby Knight tell us that this is not the biggest distraction a team has had to face during the tournament.


Anonymous said...

you are wrong the 1565 TEXT MESSAGES, not phone calls, were allegedly with HOCHIMSON, not not nare miles

Anonymous said...