Southeast officials meet with NCAA committee

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The university pleaded its case against alleged rules violations.

Southeast Missouri State University's brass received its opportunity to state its case before the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions.

Now the university must wait.

The university, represented by president Ken Dobbins, athletic director John Shafer and others, went before the committee Friday in Indianapolis to discuss alleged violations of NCAA rules.

In a letter dated March 3, the committee wrote that it had scheduled Southeast's hearing for the entire day at the Sheraton Indianapolis City Centre Hotel. Shafer said the meeting started around 8 a.m. and lasted until about 4 p.m.

The university must wait for the committee to render its decision before anyone can discuss what happened in the meeting.

"I am sworn to double-secret probation if I even say anything about the meeting," Shafer said. "They are deliberating from our meeting and we're not supposed to discuss the case."

Shafer did say the university wasn't given any idea of possible disciplinary actions, and the committee doesn't offer a date for when to expect its decision.

"They don't tie themselves down," Shafer said. "But historically it takes six or eight weeks. In my previous life, I know it takes a while for them to take all the information and digest it and make a decision."

Southeast women's basketball coach John Ishee attended the meeting, as the NCAA asked in its March 3 letter. Also in attendance was former Southeast men's basketball coach Scott Edgar and his attorney, Stuart L. Brown of Atlanta.

Brown said that while Edgar is eager to explain his side of the story, he will wait until the committee renders its decision.

"The Committee on Infractions asks that the content and substance of those meetings remains confidential until the committee makes a ruling, which is generally eight weeks out," Brown said. "As Scott has done from the beginning of this process, he will comply with NCAA requirements and guidelines. And I'm sure at the appropriate time, he'll be able to make some comments."

The Friday hearing was to discuss alleged violations of rules by the men's and women's basketball programs. In the NCAA's original Notice of Allegations, which the university received Oct. 6, the NCAA alleged:

* A fifth-year women's basketball student-athlete received more than $7,000 in course expenses from a representative of the university's athletic interests after the player's eligibility was complete.

* The men's coaches observed strength and conditioning workouts regularly during the summers of 2006 and 2007 and watched out-of-season pickup games in the fall of 2006 and spring of 2007, including a prospective student-athlete participating in a pickup game during an official visit.

* Edgar and an assistant coach arranged for extra benefits, specifically $239 in institutional fees for a student-athlete to allow his enrollment and driving a student-athlete to Memphis.

* Edgar provided "false and misleading information" to Southeast and the NCAA regarding the men's basketball allegations.

* The university failed to monitor its men's and women's basketball programs.

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