Jim Calhoun

Was federal law violated during the Nate Miles investigation?

Leave a comment

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.

Marcus Paige, Joel Berry lead No. 9 North Carolina past No. 2 Maryland

Leave a comment

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — He’s back.

For the first time this season — and for the first time in more than a year that he hasn’t been hampered with some kind of foot or ankle injury — Marcus Paige donned a North Carolina jersey, and it didn’t take him long to find the form that made him the NBCSports.com Preseason National Player of the Year.

On the first Tar Heel possession, Paige came off of a ball-screen, drove the lane and found Kennedy Meeks at the rim for a layup. Not 30 seconds later, he came off of a down screen and buried a three. Paige would finish with 20 points and five assists as No. 9 North Carolina put together a fairly resounding win over No. 2 Maryland in the Dean Dome on Tuesday night, winning 89-81.

Paige finished 7-for-12 from the floor and 4-for-5 from beyond the arc, hitting a number of threes in the second half that helped hold off a Maryland push sparked by their own all-american point guard, Melo Trimble.

Trimble was erratic early on, committing three turnovers in the first six minutes and eight on the night, but it was his play at the end of the first half and early second half that kept North Carolina from blowing their doors. At one point, Maryland was down 32-19 and in danger of getting run out of Tobacco Road.

In total, Trimble finished with 23 points and 12 assists, hitting four big threes during that stretch. He either scored or assisted on 11 of Maryland’s first 12 second half field goals.

As good as Paige was, the bigger story may actually be Joel Berry II. He took two dumb threes in the first half — which played a role in Maryland being able to make this a game — and he missed a few free throws late, but overall he was terrific. He finished with 14 points and five assists, making 3-of-5 threes and turning the ball over just twice. He’s clearly beat Nate Britt out at the point guard spot, and his ability to take pressure off of Paige as a secondary ball-handler and playmaker is huge.

(More to come from Chapel Hill…)

VIDEO: Melo Trimble drops Nate Britt with a crossover

Leave a comment

North Carolina is hosting No. 2 Maryland in a heated contest in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Terps sophomore guard Melo Trimble is playing very well and part of his performance was dropping North Carolina’s Nate Britt with a crossover in the second half.

(H/T: The Cauldron)