Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Former Miami Coach Helping With Latest NCAA Probe

(Getty Images)
Missouri coach Frank Haith said Monday that he is fully cooperating with the NCAA in the latest round of trouble at the University of Miami where he coached the seven previous seasons.

The Hurricanes declared center Reggie Johnson ineligible over the weekend, saying his family received impermissible travel benefits from an unidentified member of Haith’s Miami staff.

Miami has asked the NCAA to reinstate Johnson saying the player wasn't aware of the possible NCAA violation and didn't directly receive anything. A written statement issued by Miami said that Johnson's "family was told (the extra benefits) were permissible by that member of the former basketball coaching staff."

On Monday, Haith declined to directly answer a question about the latest allegations to rock Miami, even as he offered sympathy for his former player.

"We're doing some great things here at Missouri," he said. "We're cooperating with the NCAA fully. I'll just be glad when this thing's over with."

Haith called Johnson's suspension with three regular season games remaining "disappointing."

"Reggie is a wonderful young man, and you hate to see anyone have their career delayed." Haith said. "It's tough. I feel bad for him and his family, and I know he'll get through it, though."

Haith has drawn rave reviews in his first season in Columbia. Missouri (No.7 AP) remains poised for a high NCAA tournament.

Questions about his off-court conduct have dogged Haith since soon after his arrival nearly 11 months ago.

A former Hurricanes booster, Nevin Shapiro, told Yahoo! Sports that Haith approved a $10,000 payment to then-Miami recruit DeQuan Jones. Haith has denied that allegation, and Jones has since been cleared to play by Miami after initially being sidelined this season.

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