NCAA investigator expected to visit TU campus within week for Parmley case
BY BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer
Thursday, November 29, 2012
11/29/12 at 8:58 AM
Related story: John Klein: TU athletic program at the crossroads.
A day after suspending Athletic Director Ross Parmley due to allegations that he had gambled on athletic events, the University of Tulsa confirmed Wednesday that it has been in contact with the NCAA.
And the NCAA's reaction could be swift.
Multiple sources told the Tulsa World an NCAA representative will arrive early next week, and Derek Chance, Parmley's Oklahoma City-based attorney, told The Oklahoman an NCAA investigator is expected to visit the TU campus Friday or Monday.
An FBI affidavit that was recently made public identifies Parmley as an "admitted gambler," and a source told The Oklahoman on Tuesday that Parmley admitted to the FBI that he gambled on college football and NFL games. TU placed Parmley on paid administrative leave that day.
Parmley has not been charged with any crimes.
Chance told The Oklahoman on Wednesday that Parmley never placed bets on any contests involving the University of Tulsa.
The Oklahoman source said Parmley told the FBI in 2011 that he had informed TU officials of his cooperation with an investigation of Oklahoma City gambler Teddy Mitchell, the paper reported.
Neither TU President Steadman Upham nor acting Athletic Director Kevan Buck was available to elaborate on what the university knew about Parmley's gambling activity before Tuesday - or the extent to which the university might have been informed about the gambling before Parmley's January promotion to the athletic director's position.
In a statement, TU said, "As this is an ongoing investigation, the University of Tulsa will not be offering any comment regarding any issues associated with this matter, other than we are fully cooperating with the NCAA."
TU notified the NCAA on Tuesday about the gambling allegations, university spokeswoman Kayla Acebo said.
Former TU Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham, through a University of North Carolina spokesman, also refused to comment Wednesday. Cunningham was TU's athletic director until October 2011, when he departed for the same job at North Carolina. After Cunningham left, Parmley became TU's interim athletic director. Three months later, he became the full-time athletic director.
Placed on leave only a few hours after having attended Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett's "True Blue TU Week" news conference Tuesday, the 39-year-old Parmley has not responded to interview requests.
A TU source said Wednesday that Parmley has not resigned.
"Ross is brokenhearted," said a source close to the situation. "TU is a very special place to him and his family."
The Oklahoman reported Tuesday that a source said Parmley admitted to using an Internet gambling site during an unspecified number of years.
In 2005 and 2006, Parmley was a member of the TU football program's support staff. After that, he occupied various positions within the university's athletic administration. The Oklahoman's source said he told the FBI that he stopped gambling in 2010.
An NCAA rule prohibits student-athletes and athletic department staff members from "wagering on intercollegiate, amateur and professional sports in which the Association conducts championships."
Two college sports sources say the NCAA would consider football gambling by an administrator to be a serious infraction.
One source said, "We know we're not supposed to (gamble). The NCAA has a fairly significant program intended to remind student-athletes and administrators about the evils of gambling - including something as seemingly innocent as an office pool on March Madness."
The second source, who is familiar with NCAA rules and enforcement, said that if TU promoted Parmley while having knowledge of his gambling activity, "it could be problematic for them."
"That becomes an institutional-control issue," the source said.
The two college sports sources, who are employed at other universities, asked to remain anonymous so as not to be viewed as having passed judgment on Parmley or TU.
When the NCAA determines that an athletic department or specific sports program is guilty of a lack of institutional control, it typically is a reflection of blatant disregard for rules compliance. Two years ago, the NCAA cited a lack of institutional control in its decision to impose severe sanctions on the University of Southern California - the loss of 30 football scholarships and a two-year bowl ban.
In an email to the Tulsa World, an NCAA representative said, "The NCAA opposes all forms of legal and illegal sports wagering because it ... can undermine the integrity of college sports."
The NCAA would not comment specifically about Parmley and TU.
While the Golden Hurricane football team prepares for Saturday's Conference USA championship meeting with the University of Central Florida at H.A. Chapman Stadium, the Parmley issue has been reported by national media outlets.
The story came to light after an affidavit related to Mitchell's case was unsealed last week. In the affidavit, Oklahoma City-based FBI Special Agent Francis Bowles Jr. alleges that Parmley had placed bets with Mitchell.
According to the affidavit, Mitchell's November-December 2009 bank records reflect that Parmley issued Mitchell a check for $1,782.
The FBI has been investigating Mitchell for eight years, according to The Oklahoman. A federal grand jury indicted Mitchell, his sons Dryden Mitchell and Nick Mitchell, six other men and a Costa Rican company in September, records show.
Mitchell, 58, is accused of making millions of dollars by hosting illegal high-stakes poker games at his home and by illegally taking bets on sporting events. He has pleaded not guilty. A trial is set for April in federal court in Oklahoma City.
The NCAA and gambling
Here is a look at how the NCAA handled a pair of gambling cases:
September 2010: The NCAA gave the University of Missouri-St. Louis two years of probation after learning that a former golf coach at the Division II school ran an online multimillion-dollar fantasy sports league. The coach, Dustin Ashby, also paid an entry fee and played fantasy football and baseball for prizes. A former volunteer coach was commissioner of Ashby's league, and he also hired three of the team's golfers. The golfers initially were ruled ineligible but later reinstated.
June 2003: University of Washington football coach Rick Neuheisel was fired after an NCAA investigation revealed that he won $11,219 from twice participating in NCAA basketball tournament "auctions" and lied about it to investigators. Neuheisel and the rest of the participants from the athletic department had mistakenly been told by a compliance officer that off-campus tournament basketball pools were not a violation of NCAA rules. After suing the NCAA and the university, Neuheisel was awarded a $4.5 million settlement. Meanwhile, the football program had its probation extended.
Anonymous cases from the NCAA
Here is a look at real cases the NCAA uses as examples of how it handles the enforcement of its gambling policies:
- A soccer coach wagered $10 on a game in which he was involved. He was suspended for two games, placed on a year's probation, given a two-year salary freeze and banned from a year of off-campus recruiting.
- A compliance coordinator wagered on hockey and football games on an Internet gambling site. He resigned from his position.
- Coaches and members of an athletic department paid $20-$35 to participate in a fantasy football league. They were reprimanded, and prize money had to be donated to charity.
- An athletic director paid $5 for an NCAA basketball tournament bracket with neighbors and won $25. He was reprimanded and had to donate the money to charity.
Key developments in the TU Athletic Department and in the gambling investigation that has led to the suspension of Athletic Director Ross Parmley.
1990: Earliest known time that Teddy Mitchell of Oklahoma City runs an illegal gambling business, according to an FBI affidavit. Over the next two decades, organizers make millions of dollars by hosting high-stakes poker games at Mitchell's home and by illegally taking bets on sporting events, the affidavit alleges.
November-December 2009: According to the affidavit, among checks issued to Mitchell's bank account is one for $1,782 from Ross Parmley, then associate athletic director for administration and operations at the University of Tulsa.
Nov. 2, 2010: Mitchell's wife, Julie Mitchell, is found beaten to death in their home. During the homicide investigation, evidence taken from the residence includes financial ledgers that show illegal gambling activity. Teddy Mitchell was out of town at the time of the homicide, and it remains unsolved.
October 2011: Ross Parmley is interviewed by the FBI about an Oklahoma City-area gambling ring. Parmley tells the FBI he has informed TU about his involvement in the investigation, according to an Oklahoman story citing an unidentified source.
Oct. 14, 2011: TU Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham resigns to take the same position at North Carolina, and Parmley is named TU's interim athletic director.
Jan. 19: TU President Steadman Upham introduces Parmley as permanent athletic director. Parmley has been employed at the university since 2005.
March 11: In his first major decision as athletic director, Parmley fires men's basketball coach Doug Wojcik, who was 140-92 in seven seasons. Less than three weeks later, Danny Manning is hired as the replacement.
Sept. 24: Mitchell pleads not guilty to a federal indictment accusing him of running an illegal gambling business that made $8.1 million. Eight other men also are indicted.
Tuesday: Parmley is placed on paid administrative leave after The Oklahoman reports that an 84-page affidavit from the FBI identifies him as an "admitted gambler with Mitchell." TU Executive Vice President Kevan Buck is named acting athletic director.
April 9, 2013: Jury trials for Mitchell and the other defendants are scheduled to begin in federal court in Oklahoma City after being delayed from November.
- KELLY HINES, World Sports Writer
TU and the NCAA
Here's a look at Tulsa's major infractions with the NCAA:
November 17, 1992
Violation summary: Falsely reported the number of participants to achieve minimum sports-sponsorship for competition at Division I-A level; Division I-A competition for three years without meeting requirements; Student-athletes participated before being certified as eligible; participation under assumed names. Cited for lack of institutional control.
Penalty summary: public reprimand; postseason ban for all teams; vacation of team championship awards for 1987-88, 1988-89 and 1989-90; recertification; annual reports.
Involved sports: men's and women's indoor and outdoor track
October 27, 1970
Violation summary: Improper financial aid and transportation; extra benefits; out-of-season practice; improper recruiting contacts; entertainment, inducements, lodging and transportation; excessive time for official visit; improper administration of financial aid; unethical conduct.
Penalty summary: football: two-year postseason and television ban.
Involved sports: football, baseball
May 7, 1967
Violation summary: Improper administration of financial aid.
Penalty summary: public reprimand.
Involved sports: football
January 6, 1960
Violation summary: Improper recruiting inducement.
Penalty summary: public reprimand and probation.
Original Print Headline: TU says it is working with NCAA on probe
Bill Haisten 918-581-8397
Ross Parmley: The University of Tulsa athletic director admitted to the FBI that he gambled on college football and NFL games, a source says