Missouri tightens oversight of men's program

Saturday, August 20, 2005

New policy requires reviews of all expenses and written records of calls to recruits.

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Nearly one year after being placed on probation and losing scholarships for recruiting violations, the University of Missouri-Columbia has tightened oversight of its men's basketball program, a new report to the NCAA shows.

The changes include a mandatory review and approval of all men's basketball expenses by athletics director Mike Alden and required written records of all telephone calls made to prospective athletes.

The university submitted the annual compliance report Monday to the NCAA Committee on Infractions and posted a copy on its Web site Thursday night following an request by The Associated Press under Missouri's public records law.

The annual report is the university's most detailed response to date about changes made since November 2004, when the National Collegiate Athletic Association gave Missouri's basketball program three years probation, a 12-month ban on off-campus recruiting trips and the loss of three scholarships over two seasons.

The NCAA identified a total of 42 violations, from improper meal purchases for amateur coaches to improper contact with recruits by head coach Quin Snyder and two assistants who subsequently resigned.

University officials said the 493-page report, of which a 16-page summary was released, details their vigorous efforts to follow the rules.

"Our institution has taken exhaustive steps to ensure that our coaches, staff, student-athletes and supporters comply with NCAA rules," Alden said in a written statement.

Among those steps:

* Biweeekly seminars for the men's basketball coaches on NCAA compliance issues, with the topics chosen by Snyder. The lectures have included discussions of the sale of athletic gear by athletes, nutritional supplements and rules for coaches' spouses.

* Unspecified cuts to the team's administrative staff, and a loss of four student managers over two seasons.

* Booster education seminars by Snyder to team supporters.

* Attendance by Snyder at an NCAA regional rules seminar, at his own expense.

* Advance notice by Snyder to Alden when recruits come to campus.

Snyder also did not return a call for comment Friday, but the NCAA investigation said he was guilty of sloppiness, not "wrongful intent" as asserted by investigators.

In an August 2004 hearing before NCAA officials in Seattle, Snyder told investigators, "I was not as hands-on as I think I need to be."

The university's review included a report on Snyder's management and "administrative oversight" of the program by Bob Bailey, an assistant dean of the Missouri law school. Bailey gave Snyder and the basketball program high marks.

"They have taken this sanction to heart and learned from their previous experience," he said.

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