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.