Men’s basketball coach Frank Haith has been suspended for the first five games of the Tigers’ season for “failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance” during his time at the University of Miami, the NCAA announced Tuesday.
“The former head men's basketball coach failed to meet his responsibilities as a head coach when he did not monitor the activities of his assistant coaches, and attempted to cover up the booster's threats to disclose incriminating information,” an NCAA release stated.
Haith and Athletic Director Mike Alden each said neither the coach nor the university would appeal the suspension.
“I strongly disagree with the report,” Haith said. “I’ve chosen not to appeal the process.”
Chancellor Brady Deaton also announced the university would not appeal the decision.
“Given our respect for the principles of compliance in intercollegiate sports, we will not appeal the sanctions placed on our head men’s basketball coach, Frank Haith,” the chancellor said in a written statement.
During the Nov. 8-25 suspension, Haith may not be allowed to attend team practices or meetings, he and Alden said. He will be allowed to continue recruiting.
Haith, who coached at Miami from 2004-2011, had been a subject of the NCAA’s 27-month probe into the activities of Hurricane booster Nevin Shapiro, a convicted Ponzi scheme facilitator who is accused of providing impermissible benefits to Miami student-athletes in the football and basketball programs.
Haith cited his desire to shield his family from continued scrutiny as reason to accept the suspension.
“What my family has been through the last 27 months, I cannot tell you what we’ve had to endure,” said Haith, who also announced he would donate a portion of his salary to the Boys and Girls Club of Columbia. “This morning when my daughter wakes up and my wife tells her what we’re going through, not specifics, but generalized things, and to see her crying again, I don’t want to put her through that, or my son, who’s been very supportive. This signifies closure.”
Mary Austin, Missouri’s senior associate athletic director for compliance, said in a written statement Haith did have the option to appeal and had been “diligent and consistent in his efforts to promote an atmosphere of compliance at Mizzou.”
Alden, who sat beside Haith at his Tuesday press conference, originally planned to include former coach Norm Stewart to discuss arrangements for the Tigers’ upcoming scrimmage at Hearnes Center.
Instead, Alden and Haith spoke first about the suspension and the NCAA’s investigation, one marred by repeated snafus on the part of NCAA enforcement staff, according to an external NCAA report filed in February.
In January, NCAA enforcement staff paid Shapiro’s defense attorney to obtain evidence that could continue to help the college athletics’ governing body.
At Shapiro’s sentencing, the NCAA submitted a letter to the presiding judge requesting leniency so Shapiro could continue to be an informant.
“There are national concerns about the governance of the NCAA,” said Alden, who will address NCAA leaders next week as the president of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics to communicate concerns about the institution.
“Twenty-seven months, thousands of pages of testimony, hundreds of investigations, the enforcement or process itself questioned, of course, and millions of dollars spent on this entire deal. I think looking at that, at the conclusion of that, certainly anything could be speculative,” Alden said of Haith’s punishment.
An official NCAA report said Haith and an assistant coach provided Shapiro $10,000 to keep him from exposing previous compliance violations at Miami.
The report also states Shapiro demanded Haith return a $50,000 donation to Miami athletics, but Haith refused. One of Haith’s assistants loaned Shapiro $7,000, the report said, and Haith helped one of his assistants pay off Shapiro’s mother.
Haith denied those claims.
“I was truthful in my communication with the NCAA,” he said.