In wake of NCAA violations, Kim Anderson looks to carry Missouri basketball program forward
Dave Matter reports that Mark Tuley is reported donor in violations involved with Missouri basketball.
Jan. 13, 2016
Missouri fans probably wish Ryan Rosburg was a better writer.
Why? Because after his four-year career with the Missouri men’s basketball program, the Chesterfield, Missouri, native said Wednesday, “If I was a better writer, I’d probably write a book (about everything that’s happened).”
What an interesting chapter Wednesday would have been. On an overcast day in the middle of Missouri, news wasn’t expected. But, in terms of news in Columbia over the past few months, expect the unexpected.
On Wednesday, the Mizzou athletics department announced via news release that the men’s basketball program had admitted to violations under former coach Frank Haith.
Situations like, “compensating student-athletes for work-not-performed at a business through a summer internship program” were cited in the release. So too was a donor who, “provided other impermissible inducements and extra benefits including housing, cash in the amount of $520, local transportation, iPads, meals and arranged for the use of a local gym for the student-athletes.”
Ultimately, five violations were cited by Missouri, each ranging from the NCAA’s level I infractions — the most serious — to level III, which are secondary in nature.
According to a report from Dave Matter at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Wednesday night, a source told him the donor was Christopher Mark Tuley, the CEO of T3 Solutions, a national intelligence company based out of Martinez, Georgia that “provides intelligence support primarily to the US Special Operations Command.” He also attended Mizzou from 1998-2000, per his LinkedIn profile.
Matter also confirmed in his report that the players involved in the violations were Jordan Clarkson and Jabari Brown — both NBA players — and sophomore forward Jakeenan Gant.
These interactions between Tuley and the players violated the NCAA bylaws, and Missouri will vacate all 23 wins from the 2013-14 season, face a fine and loss of scholarship for the 2016-17 season, and they will be imposing a postseason ban — including the SEC basketball tournament — for the 2015-16 season.
“Obviously, it’s a tough day for a lot of people because this program means a lot,” Rhoades said. “We asked and received permission from both the SEC and the NCAA to provide and share these specific details in the spirit of transparency to provide as much context as we possibly could and please note, this is an ongoing process.”
Missouri says it received a verbal NCAA notice of inquiry on April 14, 2014. Frank Haith took the Tulsa job four days later.— Joe Walljasper (@JoeWalljasper) January 13, 2016
Haith had baggage when he arrived at Missouri. In 2013, he served a five-game suspension in accordance with the situation involving the Nevin Shapiro scandal at the University of Miami.
After that suspension, former Missouri athletic director Mike Alden said of Haith: “During his time here, Coach Haith has been forthright with me and our compliance staff throughout this long process. After all this time, Coach Haith, his family, the University of Missouri, our student-athletes, and our fans, deserve closure. We are extremely excited about the direction of our program and look forward to his continued leadership for our young men. I'm proud to have Frank Haith as our men's basketball coach."
Turns out, the direction of the program has done a complete-360 since that day. Haith left on April 18, 2014, right before the NCAA notice was investigated, but his chapter at Missouri ended Wednesday with the self-imposed sanctions at Mizzou.
Haith was cleared by the NCAA and according to an ESPN report, his attorney said that he was unaware of the situation. Regardless, Tulsa, his new team, will face no fines, they’ll face no postseason ban and they’ll recruit, like all schools, free of limitations.
Now, Rosburg will miss his last opportunity to play in Nashville in the SEC tournament.
“Ryan is a great guy and he’s a great young man,” Anderson said. “I think, for him, I think it was tough. You know, we don’t need to sugar coat this anymore. I mean, who knows whether we would qualify for the postseason, I mean I don’t know. I think it was tough on him and you know he’s a great young man and he’s been a great representative of our university.”
But it’s not solely Rosburg who’s affected by this.
It’s players like freshman Terrence Phillips who were hoping to gain experience by playing in the postseason for the first time. It’s coaches like Rob Fulford who will be hindered on the recruiting trail. It’s the brand of the program that will have to rebound after the negative connotation that a situation like this brings.
It’s up to Anderson to manage this program. On April 14, 2014, Anderson took the Missouri job unaware of the NCAA notice. On that, Missouri compliance director Mary Ann Austin told Columbia Tribune sports editor Joe Walljasper, “the NCAA had not provided the institution authority to share any information at the time of the Head Men’s Basketball search.”
Anderson didn’t know that situations dating back to 2011 would hamper a rebuilding job that was challenging enough. And with only 15 games remaining in the 2015-16 season, Anderson said the team must reset their goals.
“You know, I think you have to talk about getting better, improving as a team, improving as an individual, having the opportunity to be a spoiler,” Anderson said. “I talked a little bit about — and I don’t say this casually — just, let’s go out and play and let’s get better. With the exception of Ryan, we need to focus ourselves on this year, doing the best we can, improving and then moving on into next year and being even better.
“I’m sure it’ll be hard for a while, but maybe not, we’ll see how they react.”
Kim Anderson doesn’t know how the last chapter in Rosburg’s book will end, but it’s all up to the head man to keep it stapled together.