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“While we are alarmed and disappointed, we are steadfast in our belief that we must also act with the highest level of integrity and commitment to the pursuit of truth,” UM president Dr. Julio Frenk in a statement addressed to the “University of Miami” family and posted on the school’s website Wednesday evening. “To that end, we have pledged our full and complete cooperation with the Department of Justice Probe as well as to the NCAA, with whom we will jointly review any relevant matters. The legal process and any NCAA joint review will likely take some time, so I urge patience for all who love our University.”Federal corruption and bribery charges were filed against 10 people tied to college basketball nationwide on Tuesday. Although neither Miami nor any of its coaches or athletes were named in the indictments handed down in New York, a “University 7,” whose description matches Miami, was mentioned in the DOJ complaint against Adidas executive Jim Gatto. Gatto was charged in connection to the large scale FBI probe.In the complaint against Gatto, the DOJ alleges that a “Coach 3” from “University 7” was involved with trying to funnel approximately $150,000 to “Player 12,” an unnamed high school basketball player expected to graduate in 2018.Four assistant basketball coaches Oklahoma State’s Lamont Evans, Auburn’s Chuck Person, Arizona’s Emanuel Richardson and USC’s Tony Bland were charged in conjunction with the probe.No Miami coaches have been charged and in an emailed statement sent to the Sun Sentinel late Tuesday night, Coral Gables attorney Stuart Z.Hurricanes athletic director Blake James issued a statement Tuesday saying, “The University of Miami is aware of the indictments handed down today by the Department of Justice involving several men’s college basketball programs, coaches, financial advisors, agents and apparel executives. However, if requested,
we will cooperate in any legal or NCAA review of the matter.”James did not return multiple messages Wednesday.Legendary basketball coach Rick Pitino was placed on administrative leave by University of Louisville on Wednesday after 16 seasons, three Final Four appearances and one national championship. The school cited the FBI investigation, which didn’t name all the schools involved but contained enough details to identify one of them as Louisville.At Alabama, basketball administrator Kobie Baker, a former NCAA enforcement staffer, resigned after an internal investigation of the basketball program, according to Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne.”Our review has not identified any NCAA or SEC rules violations nor the involvement of any other coach or staff member,” Byrne said. “We have notified both of the governing bodies of the actions we have taken. As always, we will continue to be proactive in our compliance efforts.”Meanwhile, when asked about cheating in college sports, Miami Hurricanes football coach Mark Richt who worked as an assistant coach at Florida State and was the coach at Georgia before taking over Miami’s program last season said there should be consequences for those that break the rules.He also said he’s confident programs across the country are doing things the right way.”Bottom line is, if people aren’t behaving like they should, whether it’s players or it’s coaches or it’s business people or whatever it is, then there needs to be consequences. If everybody makes good decisions to discipline things the way should be, then there’s consequences for what happened, then things can cleaned up rather quickly, I think,” Richt said. “I’m sure it’s program by program. I don’t think every basketball program is doing things they shouldn’t do, and I don’t think every football program is doing it. I think there are a lot more [programs] doing things right than doing wrong. But you read about these.”As to whether what happened Tuesday served as a reminder about the importance of running a clean program, Richt said that wasn’t necessarily the case for him personally,
because he and his staff try to make sure that’s the case all the time.