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NCAA investigating improper conduct in Nevin Shapiro case, good news for Frank Haith

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The NCAA has announced that they will be investigating potential improper conduct that occurred during their investigation of Miami and former booster Nevin Shapiro.

Here are the basics, from the NCAA’s release:

Former NCAA enforcement staff members worked with the criminal defense attorney for Nevin Shapiro to improperly obtain information for the purposes of the NCAA investigation through a bankruptcy proceeding that did not involve the NCAA.

But there’s more to it than that.

In a teleconference on Wednesday afternoon, NCAA president Mark Emmert said that former NCAA investigators worked with Shapiro’s attorney to improperly subpeona and depose witnesses in the bankruptcy case. What’s more, the NCAA may have had Shapiro’s attorney on their payroll, only no one actually approved it. They realized it when the bill showed up and people started asking questions.

“Obviously this is a shocking affair,” Emmert said.

The NCAA will be investigating their own investigation into NCAA violations, which Emmert said should take between seven and ten days, and no more than two weeks. But the big news is that the organization “will not be issuing notices of allegation until after this investigation is concluded.”

“We want to make sure that any evidence that is brought forward is appropriately collected and has the integrtity that we expect and demand,” Emmert said. If it wasn’t obtained properly, it will be thrown out.

Much of this investigation centers around the Miami football program, but there is also a lot at stake for Missouri head coach Frank Haith and his former staff at Miami. Shapiro alleged that he paid $10,000 to the family member of DeQuan Jones, a top 25 recruit that Haith landed while with the Hurricanes, and that the money was returned to Shapiro by Haith’s assistants.

CBSSports.com had reported on Monday that Haith was set to receive a Notice of Allegations this week, and that he would be charged with unethical conduct and a failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance because the NCAA believed that he was lying to them. The punishment could have resulted in a multi-year show-cause penalty and, potentially, have cost Haith his job.

We shall see if this is finding by the NCAA is simply a stay of execution, or if the mistakes made during the investigation could result in Haith being cleared of the accusations.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament chances take a major blow in loss to No. 16 SMU

SMU guard Nic Moore (11) shoots over Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer (33) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
(AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
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Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.

The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.

It wasn’t pretty.

And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.

Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.

The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.

But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: