Texas-El Paso basketball coaches tutored a recruit, provided free lodging and transportation to players and made illegal recruiting visits, the NCAA alleges.
UTEP officials pledged in a Tuesday news conference that they would investigate the accusations themselves before responding to the allegations.The school appointed attorney Ricardo Adauto III to look into the allegations. UTEP president Diana Natalicio said Adauto, her assistant, was present at many of the interviews conducted by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
"The real point here is that there has been 14 months of speculation about various incidents, some of which may have occurred, some of which may not have occurred or may have been exaggerated. I think our job now is to sort out all of these facts," Natalicio said.
UTEP has until May 7 to respond to the list of 13 allegations.
Don Haskins, Miners coach for 30 years, was not at the news conference. He also was not at his office just prior to a 2 p.m. basketball practice. His secretary said he and other coaches were referring media questions to Adauto.
Hovious and Natalicio said they take very seriously all of the infractions, which would have occurred from 1986-1989. Some of the more serious allegations are:
- An assistant coach is accused of tutoring recruit John Staggers to prepare him for three separate General Equivalency Diploma exams. The coach also is accused of arranging for the athlete to retake the test when Staggers was unqualified and enrolling him in a federally funded GED preparation class for migrant workers and their families.
- The men's basketball staff allegedly arranged for a booster to pay a prospective player for work done at the booster's home. The booster, identified by a former player as restaurateur Mike Daeuble, is accused of paying $300 in cash for 10 hours work. The NCAA said the scholarship athlete received 10 more payments totaling between $900 and $1,300 during 1988. Daeuble was not at his restaurant when called Tuesday for comment.
- A coach twice lied to the NCAA enforcement staff about providing transportation numerous times to prospective and enrolled players and a prospective player's mother.
- A university athletic department official gave a player a round-trip airline ticket home. Former player Rodney McKoy has said he was given a free airline ticket.
- Basketball coaches made in-person, off-campus recruiting visits to two prospective players.
- Boosters provided use of cars without cost to players.
- The NCAA said the university poorly monitors and controls the program and has failed to educate athletics department staff members, students, athletes and boosters on NCAA rules.