Jim Calhoun

Was federal law violated during the Nate Miles investigation?

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When the news first came out that the NCAA had violated their own regulations in investigating the Miami, my first recommendation went out to any school that had been the subject of a recent NCAA investigation.

Go back and look at what they dug up to see if there were any rules broken.

UConn, apparently, heeded that advice. According to a report from CBSSports.com on Tuesday morning, a federal law may have been broken during the NCAA’s investigation of Nate Miles. If you’ve forgotten the name, Miles was a UConn recruit that barely lasted two months on campus, but violations committed during his recruitment got two assistant coaches axed, got the program put on probation and stuck with a number of recruiting restrictions, and put an official stain on Jim Calhoun’s legacy.

But according to the report from CBS, some of the information that the NCAA used to punish the Huskies may have been gathered in violation of federal law. The NCAA deemed that Josh Nochimson, a former UConn student manager who became a booster for the program and, eventually, an agent, paid for foot surgery for Miles in 2008. The NCAA called it an extra benefit, but mentioned contacting both the doctor that did Miles’ surgery and an administrator at the Tampa Bay Bone and Joint Center in their report. This would be a violation of HIPAA, as Dennis Dodd explains:

While NCAA investigators apparently did not violate federal law, they were able to extract information to assist in the case that led to major penalties against UConn and former coach Jim Calhoun. Health care attorneys Frankie Forbes of Kansas City and Jill Jensenof Omaha offered their opinions after examination of documents in the UConn case obtained by CBSSports.com.

“If the physicians agreed to the [NCAA] interview and the subject matter was their patient and [they] did not have authorization from the patient, that would be a problem,” Forbes said. “If the subject matter at all was the patient, and the patient didn’t authorize it, that’s an issue … That’s a violation of the HIPAA privacy right.”

To comply with HIPAA, the doctors would have needed permission from Miles to discuss his surgery and the payment for it. And, as Miles told Dodd, he did no such thing.

“I never told anybody to share anything,” Miles said. “I just couldn’t believe they did. I thought they couldn’t. I lost everything.”

There’s not much that can be done here. The restrictions have more-or-less run their course, Calhoun has retired, Miles’ is long past being a collegiate basketball player and UConn’s current troubles stem from the APR and conference realignment, not some NCAA sanctions.

But the NCAA still isn’t painted in the greatest light. From John Infante:

If the NCAA obtained information that should not have been released according to HIPAA, the NCAA would be at the very least guilty of some degree of negligence in determining whether it should have the information. At worst, the NCAA induced someone to commit a violation of federal law to obtain information it knew it should not have access to.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Former Wichita State assistant returns as a consultant

Chris Jans, Gregg Marshall
Associated Press
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Prior to a one-year stint as the head coach coach at Bowling Green that came to an end in early April as a result of an incident at a Bowling Green restaurant, Chris Jans was a member of Gregg Marshall’s coaching staff at Wichita State from 2007-14. During those seven seasons Jans was a key figure as the Shockers made the progression to a respected national power.

Jans is back in Wichita, with Paul Suellentrop of the Wichita Eagle reporting Thursday that he’s serving as a consultant to the program. Jans’ consulting agreement runs for 45 days, which the school can renew, and he’ll be paid $10,000 for the work. While Jans isn’t allowed to do any coaching, he can watch practices and provide Marshall and the coaching staff with his observations.

“He will be able to consult with the coaching staff, only on what he observes in practice,” said Darron Boatright, WSU deputy athletics director. “By NCAA rule, a consultant is not allowed to have communication with student-athletes … not about basketball-related activities or performance.”

While Jans (who according to the story has served in a similar role for another school) can’t do any coaching in this role, his return does give Marshall another trusted voice to call upon when needed. Wichita State bid farewell to an assistant coach this spring with Steve Forbes being hired as the head coach at East Tennessee State, with his position being filled by former Sunrise Christian Academy coach Kyle Lindsted.

h/t ShockerHoops.net

AUDIO: Rick Pitino discusses allegations, future at Louisville

Rick Pitino
Associated Press
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Thursday afternoon marked the first time since Friday that Louisville head coach Rick Pitino commented on the controversy that has taken his program by storm. Speaking with Terry Meiners of 840 WHAS in Louisville, Pitino discussed the escort scandal, what could have possibly led former staffer Andre McGee down the path he’s alleged to have taken in Katina Powell’s book and his future at Louisville.

The interview began with Meiners asking Pitino if it changed his thinking as to whether or not he needed to resign, which (as one would expect) Pitino shot down. Also discussed was the statement released by school president Dr. James Ramsey, which expressed support for athletic director Tom Jurich but did not mention Pitino at all.

“Well I can’t answer that, Terry,” Pitino said when asked why he wasn’t mentioned in the statement. “Twenty-six years ago Kentucky brought me in to make the program compliant to NCAA rules. (Then-Kentucky president) Dr. (David) Roselle and (then Kentucky athletic director) C.M. Newton thought I was the guy to come in and change around the images, change around the culture and add a lot of discipline to the program. And I did that.

“And then I came here to the University of Louisville, and if someone was five seconds late or not early consequences would be paid from a disciplinary standpoint,” Pitino continued. “This is obviously not a person being late, this is not about a person (not) working hard. This is about things that are very disgusting, things that turn my stomach, things that keep me up without sleeping.

“But unfortunately, I had no knowledge of any of this and don’t believe in it. It’s sickening to me, the whole thing. But I’m thinking of my 13 players, I’m thinking of our program, and I’m sorry that Dr. Ramsey did not think enough to mention me but that’s something I cannot control.”

Below is audio of the full interview, which ran just over 17 minutes in length.