Mizzou needs to act quickly on Haith

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by Doug Vaughn

KMOV

Posted on August 17, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 17 at 6:06 PM

(KMOV) -- The University of Miami scandal is going to be a whopper. It could ultimately lead to the death penalty being handed down on the Hurricanes football program, if Nevin Shapiro's story turns out to be true.

Shapiro is the University of Miami booster currently serving a 20 year prison sentence for running a $930 million ponzi scheme. Among dozens of allegations, Shapiro says Frank Haith was involved in giving a Miami basketball recruit $10,000. Shapiro provided to Yahoo sports pictures of himself with Haith. He says he and Haith spent time together at a Miami strip club. Yahoo sports produced copies of phone records and credit card bills to back up its story on how Shapiro lavished gifts on Miami basketball and football players. This could become the biggest scandal in the history of college sports, and it's touching the University of Missouri.

The hiring of Frank Haith by Missouri was questionable right from the start. He had a mediocre record in his time at Miami. He wasn't on anybody's radar as the next hot coaching property. Still, he was hired by Mizzou. The spin at the time was that Haith was a "high character" coach who played by the rules and graduated his players. Well, it appears the "high character" is now in serious question. What's worse than paying a recruit $10,000, and hanging out with a sleazy booster at strip clubs? There's probably something, but I can't think of it right now. The point is, Frank Haith has now stained the University of Missouri's reputation by being involved in this report and fingered in these allegations. Officials at Mizzou need to act very quickly on this to minimize the damage. Haith has a morals clause in his contract that would allow Athletic Director Mike Alden to fire him if Haith does anything to bring disrepute upon the University. Well, he's done it.

Mizzou officials need to conduct it's own investigation. They need to talk with Shapiro if possible. They need to talk with the player who allegedly took $10,000 from the University of Miami basketball program. They need to talk with the Miami Athletic Director, and they need to talk with the reporters who did the story for Yahoo Sports. This shouldn't take a year, or six months, or three months. They need to make this priority one and get it done in a matter of a couple of weeks. If they have solid reason to believe Frank Haith has done what Nevin Shapiro says he's done, Haith needs to be fired immediately. Mizzou doesn't need the headache of dealing with violations that occurred at another school. Frank Haith can be easily replaced. It's not like he has the coaching resume of Bill Self at Kansas, or Coach K at Duke. Mizzou needs to protect it's own reputation and act quickly to avoid what may become the ugliest scandal ever to hit college sports.

 

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