NCAA officials begin investigating Tulsa AD's gambling
BY JOHN E. HOOVER World Sports Columnist
Tuesday, December 04, 2012
12/04/12 at 9:24 AM
Related Story: NCAA investigator reportedly was in Tulsa on Monday
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The former director of enforcement for the NCAA says the University of Tulsa administration and suspended athletic director Ross Parmley face some difficult questions in the coming days.
Foremost is what TU officials knew about Parmley's alleged gambling habit and when they knew it.
The NCAA is in Tulsa this week, conducting interviews with Parmley and others about Parmley's reported involvement with an indicted Oklahoma City gambling figure.
Dan Beebe, former commissioner of the Big 12 Conference and the Ohio Valley Conference, was the NCAA's lead investigator in high-profile cases against SMU, Houston and Mississippi. He later became the NCAA's director of enforcement.
If anyone knows what kind of questions the NCAA will ask at TU, it's Beebe.
The main issue is how much the University of Tulsa knew when it chose Parmley to succeed Bubba Cunningham - first on an interim basis last October, then permanently in January.
An unnamed source told The Oklahoman last week that Parmley admitted to using an Internet gambling site, although the timeframe was not specified. From 2005-06, Parmley was TU's director of football operations, and from 2006-11, he was an associate or assistant athletic director under Cunningham.
The Oklahoman's source said Parmley told the FBI in 2011 that TU was aware of his cooperation with the bureau's investigation of an alleged bookmaker in Oklahoma City, Teddy Mitchell.
It is unknown, however, what TU administrators and its board of trustees knew - or if they knew anything at all - about Parmley's alleged involvement with Mitchell or the FBI investigation.
The NCAA's first and most serious queries will be whether Parmley could have influenced the outcome of games such as football or men's basketball, or whether he could have coerced student-athletes to do so. Parmley's attorney, Derek Chance, told The Oklahoman last week that Parmley never placed bets on any contests involving the University of Tulsa. But Beebe says that is one of the first questions NCAA investigators will ask.
"Maybe he declares a kid ineligible or something, I don't know." Beebe said.
Recent point-shaving scandals at San Diego (three men's basketball players in 2010) and Toledo (six football and men's basketball players in 2009) drew FBI investigations and federal indictments.
"There is nothing more threatening to the integrity of sports anywhere than the uncovering of a point-shaving scheme," NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a 2011 statement after FBI indictments of two players, an assistant coach and others at San Diego.
In November 2011, after the University of Hawaii reported to Honolulu Police an anonymous report of point-shaving at UH, the NCAA issued a statement that said the association had looked into the allegations even though Honolulu P.D. said it didn't have enough evidence to open an investigation.
"We take any allegation of point-shaving very seriously as it is a crime that threatens two core NCAA principles - the well-being of student-athletes and the very integrity of intercollegiate sport," the NCAA said. "The threat of sports wagering is real and no campus is immune."
As unpleasant as the words may be, and as unlikely as it may sound in Parmley's case, point-shaving is something the NCAA will ask about this week.
"That's the concern," Beebe said. "I think that's what's gonna have to be fully evaluated.
"Gambling is such a serious violation in terms of the possible effect on the integrity of sports. ... With pro sports (and) college sports, all of us live in fear of whether or not somebody - an official, a player, a coach, an administrator was involved in gambling, and that's why there's such scrutiny about it."
Beebe said when he was commissioner of the Big 12 Conference, the league actually worked with the services that set betting lines involving Big 12 teams "so that we could be advised if there was any movement (on a line) that caused concern."
Beebe also said TU must answer "who knew what and when." Investigators will want to know if any facts or even warning signs might have been ignored by those who hired and eventually promoted Parmley.
"Certainly if there was something that they knew about and they didn't act on it, or didn't act strongly enough or whatever, then there's gonna be a significant price to pay, I would think, for that," Beebe said. "On the other hand, if there was no knowledge of anything or nothing to show that anybody was tipped off about this behavior, this conduct, then I think they're probably not going to be in a position where there's significant institutional culpability."
The NCAA disapproves of all forms of wagering on sports not only by student-athletes but by all university employees, particularly within an institution's athletic department.
The University of Tulsa's compliance office - the mechanism institutions have in place to ensure athletic department activities are conducted according to NCAA rules - sits under the umbrella of the athletic department.
The TU compliance mission statement says "TU is committed to a philosophy of firm institutional control of athletics, to the academic and financial integrity of our athletics program, and to the accountability of the athletics department to the missions and values of the University."
But, Beebe said, "when you have the head of the department having the issue, that brings in a whole other level of scrutiny."
In that regard, Beebe has a new venture, BMT Risk Management, that he hopes can help schools and other companies. In working with Big 12 schools in the past, he found that those "in the trenches" knew rules were being broken but often were afraid to speak out for fear of reprisal.
BMT Risk Management studies companies' or institutions' existing policies and procedures - "primarily harassment, discrimination, retaliation, sex abuse in the work environment," Beebe said - and also acts as an advocate for those "most vulnerable.
"From the lowest positions looking up, (those who would speak out) don't know who's connected to whom and whether you're gonna be OK," he said.
Original Print Headline: Truth and Consequences
Inside an NCAA investigation
Step 1: Investigation
Information indicating possible violation is received and evaluated by NCAA enforcement staff.
Investigation begins, which includes interviews on and off campus.
Anyone who participates in an interview, including student-athletes or prospective student-athletes, is permitted to have a lawyer present.
Supporting documentation is obtained, such as recruiting logs, phone records, compliance files, academic records, emails, bank statements and credit card receipts.
The NCAA does not have power of subpoena and cannot require individuals to turn over documents through discovery.
The average enforcement investigation takes less than 12 months, though more complicated cases can take longer and others are closed sooner.
If the investigation uncovers no verifiable evidence of a major violation, the case is closed.
If evidence of a major violation is discovered, the case moves to the next phase and a notice of allegations is sent to the institution.
Step 2: Charging
The notice of allegations outlines rules the institution is alleged to have broken.
If the institution agrees with the facts that the investigation has uncovered, the case can enter the summary-disposition process before a notice of allegations is provided.
In summary disposition, the school and the enforcement staff agree on the facts and a set of penalties to be imposed (no hearing before the Committee on Infractions is necessary).
Once an institution receives a notice of allegations, it has up to 90 days to respond in writing (extensions can be provided).
Evidence - including recorded interviews, summaries and transcripts - can be reviewed at the national office or through a private, secure website. When all parties have had the opportunity to respond, a hearing is set before the Committee on Infractions.
Step 3: Hearings
Most major violation cases end up before the Committee on Infractions, a group drawn from the membership or independent sources. Most members have a legal background.
The Division I Committee on Infractions meets six times annually.
A pre-hearing conference is conducted to help both sides prepare and to ensure that no new information is introduced during the actual hearing. The committee may ask questions of involved individuals at the hearing and may also inquire about information reported by witnesses or developed by the enforcement staff, institution or involved individuals. However, witnesses are not summoned.
Documents with all pertinent information from the investigation are prepared and submitted to committee members and everyone else involved in the case at least two weeks before the hearing.
At hearings, institutions are usually represented by the president or chancellor, faculty athletics representative, athletics director, and the current or former head coach of the involved sport or sports. The institution's legal counsel and rules-compliance officials also attend. Student-athletes who face eligibility consequences also may be present, along with any other parties tied to the potential violations.
The enforcement staff is represented by three people: the primary investigator on the case, the director who oversaw the investigation and the vice president of enforcement.
The hearing is run by the chair of the committee (currently Conference USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky).
All involved parties give opening statements. Both the enforcement staff and the institution and other involved parties make presentations on each individual allegation. Committee members ask questions. After all allegations are discussed, each party offers closing statements.
The committee deliberates in private to determine its findings and what penalties should be assessed.
The committee's report, prepared with the assistance of NCAA staff separate from enforcement, is released eight to 12 weeks after a hearing.
Step 4: Penalties
The committee decides penalties case-by-case. Each case is unique, and applying case precedent is difficult (if not impossible) because all cases are different. Each case has its own aggravating and mitigating factors, and the committee considers both sides in assessing penalties.
Penalties should be sufficient to deter an institution from breaking the rules again.
Some penalties, such as public reprimand and censure, are commonplace. Others, such as bans on postseason competition and television, are rarely applied.
In some cases, the committee determines that insufficient evidence exists to support the finding of a major violation. When that happens, a case is essentially "thrown out."
In such cases, the committee sometimes has decided that a school committed a secondary violation, not a major one. In that event, the case is sent to the secondary-violations wing of the enforcement staff for processing.
In both instances, no infractions report is issued and the committee issues no penalties (although institutions may be subject to minor penalties for the secondary violations).
All penalties and findings can be appealed to the Infractions Appeals Committee, a separate body of membership and independent individuals.
The NCAA is on TU's campus this week in connection with athletic director Ross Parmley's reported involvement with an indicted gambling figure. MIKE SIMONS / Tulsa World file