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.

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:

Niang, Morris lead No. 14 Iowa State past No. 24 Texas

Iowa State forward Georges Niang drives past Texas guard Tevin Mack, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
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After falling at Texas Tech for the second straight season midweek, No. 14 Iowa State needed to bounce back with No. 24 Texas visiting Hilton Coliseum. The return of Jameel McKay, who was suspended for two games, certainly helped the Cyclones and the play of Georges Niang and Monte Morris was key as well. But the biggest difference on this night was the fact that Iowa State was able to limit the effectiveness of Texas point guard Isaiah Taylor.

 

Taylor scored just nine points on 3-for-14 shooting from the field, and with Morris and Niang scoring 24 points apiece the Cyclones won by the final score of 85-75.

Taylor had multiple opportunities to make plays around the basket thanks to his ability to beat defenders off the bounce, but he struggled to finish. Add in a 0-for-4 night from three, and Texas’ most dangerous offensive option was unable to duplicate his performance in the first meeting between the two teams. In Texas’ 94-91 overtime win over the Cyclones January 12, Taylor scored 28 points and dished out six assists with just one turnover, shooting 11-for-17 from the field.

Four Longhorns finished in double figures, with Tevin Mack and Javan Felix scoring 18 apiece, but with Morris decisively winning the point guard matchup Texas was unable to pick up the win on the road.

For Iowa State the aforementioned tandem of Morris and Niang performed as they did in the first meeting, which should come as no surprise. What helped them, especially when it came to Texas attacking the basket, was the presence of McKay. McKay finished the game with eight points, seven rebounds and four blocks in 22 minutes of action, and to have their best interior defender back on the floor certainly helped the Cyclones on this night.

With their lack of depth Iowa State’s margin for error is small, especially when it comes to foul trouble, injuries and disciplinary reasons. Even with Texas’ size advantage Iowa State outscored them in the paint 48-34, and McKay’s defensive ability factored into that. The Cyclones can put points on the board with the best of them, but at some point they’ll need to string together stops as the games get even bigger.

Iowa State managed to do that down the stretch, with Morris and Niang running the show offensively. And that’s a good formula to be able to rely upon as the season approaches its most important month.