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Cusumano: Advice to Haith, why World Series managers motivate

12:33 PM, Oct 22, 2013   |    comments
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Missouri Tigers head coach Frank Haith during the game against the Florida Gators at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center. Florida defeated Missouri 83-52. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

(Frankly Speaking) -- In today's show, Frank Cusumano offers his advice to Missouri men's basketball coach Frank Haith, and than talks about both World Series managers and why players are motivated by them.

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The University of Miami lacked institutional control in its monitoring of former booster Nevin Shapiro, but the school avoided any further postseason football bans when the Committee on Infractions released its report on Tuesday.

Among the sanctions issued by the committee were three years probation, a reduction of nine scholarships in football and three men's basketball over the next three seasons and recruiting restrictions.

Former UM basketball coach Frank Haith, now at Missouri, will serve a five-game suspension for failing to monitor the activities of his assistant coaches and attempting "to cover up the booster's threats to disclose incriminating information," according to the NCAA press release.

Two former assistant football coaches and one assistant basketball coach were given two-year show cause orders, effectively keeping them from working at the collegiate level for the duration of the penalty.

The university previously self-imposed a two-year bowl ban and reduced the number of official visits, fall evaluations and available contact days in 2012-13.

In a case that was one of the most salacious in recent years, with Shapiro alleging he provided everything from cash to prostitutes to UM players over an eight-year period, the NCAA's admitted mishandling allowed Miami to go on the offensive.

NCAA president Mark Emmert commissioned an internal review in January that revealed the enforcement staff used investigative tactics that went against the limits of its investigative powers. Certain NCAA staffers worked with Shapiro's attorney to obtain testimony through the bankruptcy process that would have been otherwise unavailable to the association.

Before receiving the Notice of Allegations in February, UM president Donna Shalala said, "We have been wronged in this investigation, and we believe that this process must come to a swift resolution, which includes no additional punitive measures beyond those already self-imposed.''

UM officials went before the committee for two days in June and had hoped to receive a decision before the start of the season. More than four months later and halfway through the season, Miami is 6-0 and ranked six in the USA TODAY Coaches' Poll and seventh in the BCS standings.

Miami already self-imposed sanctions in the hopes of lessening the impact of the committee's decision. It imposed football postseason bans in 2011 and 2012, costing itself two bowl appearances and a trip to last season's Atlantic Coast Conference title game.

The school also cut football scholarships, although officials did not say how many.

The NCAA's investigation into Miami began 31 months ago when Shapiro began supplying documents to corroborate his claims in March 2011. The details of his allegations were laid out in August of that year when Yahoo! Sports reported Shapiro provided thousands in impermissible benefits to 72 UM athletes. That included cash, entertainment on his yacht and at his homes, jewelry, prostitutes and trips to restaurants and night clubs, among many others.

Shapiro is serving a 20-year sentence in federal prison for running a $930 million Ponzi scheme.

Miami received a notice of allegations in February and appeared before the Committee on Infractions on June 13-14.

That came after the NCAA was forced to toss out about 20% of its case against Miami after the association revealed involvement with Shapiro's attorney, Maria Elena Perez.

In January, the NCAA commissioned a review that found former investigator Ameen Najjar acted against the advice of the association's legal counsel in entering into an agreement with Perez to get the testimony of otherwise uncooperative parties through the bankruptcy process.

The NCAA paid Perez nearly $20,000, but both sides disagree on how the costs were incurred. The NCAA said it was for copying fees for the documentation, but Perez billed the association for nearly three times that amount for her time and work deposing key witnesses who could corroborate Shapiro's allegations.

Although the NCAA-commissioned review found no NCAA bylaws were broken and the arrangement did not violate the rules of bankruptcy proceedings, it fired vice president of enforcement Julie Roe Lach. Najjar was previously fired in May 2012 for undisclosed reasons.

The depositions Perez conducted of Sean "Pee Wee" Allen, a former Miami student manager and Shapiro's go-between, and Michael Huyghue, Shapiro's partner in Axcess Sports, were excluded from the NCAA's Notice of Allegations.

This spring Miami asked the infractions committee to take an unprecedented step and dismiss the case because of the NCAA's admitted mishandling of it. The group declined to do so.

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