Posts Tagged ‘Mike Alden’

Even before Frank Haith has coached one game for the University of Missouri basketball team, the sun is setting on his stint at MU.

The hiring of Haith, who had been coach at the University of Miami, looked questionable when it took place, mainly because of his 43-69 record against Atlantic Coast Conference teams.

But now, in light of what came out in today’s Kansas City Star, it looks terrible.

The Star’s Mike DeArmond wrote about a far-reaching Yahoo Sports investigation in which a wealthy Miami booster — now jailbird — named Nevin Shapiro claimed to have paid a Miami recruit $10,000 to help get him to Miami.


Shapiro told Yahoo Sports that the transaction was “set up by assistant coach Jake Morton in 2007.” Furthermore, Shapiro said that Haith later “acknowledged” the payment in a one-on-one conversation.

Oh, boy, here we go again with the muck surrounding much of big-time, college sports.

Granted, Shapiro is a felon– serving 20 years for his part in a $930 million Ponzi scheme — and a braggart. That combination, crook and loudmouth, makes his credibility very questionable. But DeArmond dug up evidence that supports the fact that Shapiro had his hands and arms in the stew.

Consider this from DeArmond’s story:

“Shapiro told Yahoo that he provided dinner and a strip-club visit to Arthur Brown (a Miami recruit) and lunch and hotel rooms for Brown, his brother, parents and family adviser Brian Butler in March 2008.

“When contacted Tuesday night, Butler told The Star he and the Brown family did not realize Shapiro was a Miami booster.

” ‘We asked him are you an agent or a street agent or a booster, and he told us no, that he was not,’ Butler said.”

Let’s take a little side trip here….Doesn’t it seem like visits to strip clubs are always popping up in deals like this? It’s not enough for the big shots like Shapiro to flash the cash; no, they’ve gotta show the recruits that they can provide them with the comforts of the flesh, too.

And that’s where this story gets even seamier because the Yahoo story says that Haith himself participated in one strip-club outing with Shapiro and some Miami players.

Just this past week we saw how Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder got himself in a jam by having his photo taken with a stripper at a club in St. Louis and the photo got out into the public arena. Just doesn’t look good for a guy thinking about running for the Republican nomination for governor.

Here’s the thing about strip clubs. Any guy with half a brain knows that if you intend to patronize them, you want to slip in and out, alone, perhaps wearing a trench coat or ball cap to reduce the chances of being recognized. Then, after you’ve watched the pole dance or engaged in a lap dance or whatever, you get the hell out of there. No photos, no chumming it up with your fellow carousers. It’s in and out and back to your normal life, like your loss of dignity never happened.


No, the scenario comes from common sense. Being spotted by anyone you know at a strip club — even a neighbor you don’t care for — does not advance your good citizenship.

…Where was I? Oh, yeah, Frank Haith.

So, it looks like the guy has endorsed the paying of recruits and that he has no problem providing off-color entertainment for them.

The NCAA is investigating.

For his part, Haith said in a statement released by MU last night: “The reports questioning my personal interactions with Mr. Shapiro are not an accurate portrayal of my character.”

Hmmm. Sounds to me like he’s defending his character in general but not denying any specific allegations. Doesn’t look good, does it?

Back to my first paragraph, where I said the sun is setting on Haith’s time at MU. His supervisor is athletic director Mike Alden, who has given every indication that he’s the most straight-laced person on the face of the earth. He doesn’t brook any funny business.

Why, I bet he’s just like me — has never come close to stepping into a strip club.

This expose about Haith is really going to frost Alden. He’s got to be seething. Not only has he got a problematic basketball coach on his hands, the NCAA will be breathing down his neck for the foreseeable future.

No, I don’t like Haith’s prospects. I’ll bet he’s one (season) and done.

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As you read this, I’m on the way to Louisville, which I’ll use as my base to make forays to Indianapolis for the women’s NCAA basketball semifinals and finals Sunday and Tuesday.

So, I want to leave you with something entertaining. And what’s more entertaining than some of the weird things that come out of people’s mouths? (Sometimes, unfortunately, I hear weird things coming from my own mouth, but in this case I’m going to focus on the folly of others.)

Three examples:

1) As you know by now, Karen Pletz — she of the spiked, blond hair and surgically altered face — was indicted yesterday for allegedly embezzling $1.5 million from the school she formerly headed, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. Among other things, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court, the 63-year-old Pletz forged approvals of bonus payments totaling more than $1 million.

And what was the reaction of her lawyer, Brandon J.B. Boulware?

“With today’s indictment, the federal government has injected itself into the civil litigation dispute between KCUMB and its former president, Karen Pletz…It is unfortunate, in our view, that local federal prosecutors would choose to spend public resources on a case like this when there are other, legitimate processes already at work to resolve the issues in dispute.”


Whichever Kansas City Star reporter interviewed Boulware — Alan Bavley or Tony Rizzo — must have had to stuff a handkerchief  in his mouth to keep from laughing.

“Dispute”? Oh, yeah, a little dust-up over a $million or so.

How about the federal government “injecting itself” into the case? Shocking! Why, those brazen prosecutors ought to be put in time out.

“Other, legitimate processes already at work”? Can’t we all just get together over coffee and work this out?

Personally, I think Karen’s hair will settle down after a few weeks in prison. And I think Brandon B.S. (I mean J.B.) Boulware will get over his indignation.

2) Earlier this week, federal prosecutor Richard L. Hathaway (there go those prosecutors again) said that former KU assistant athletic director Rodney Jones used proceeds from stolen tickets on “an extensive rolling party scene that persevered for five years.”

God, how I used to hate those persevering parties! They just would not stop. You’d invite a few people over, and pretty soon everybody would be drunk, and days would turn into weeks, and weeks would turn into years.

In Jones’ case, though, law enforcement authorities plucked him off the merry-go-round, and now he’ll have to persevere through 46 months in prison.

3) In a March 25 story, Kansas City Star sports writer Mike DeArmond clicked off the steps leading up to Mike Anderson’s decision to resign as men’s basketball coach at the University of Missouri and take the same post at the University of Arkansas.

It was high drama, the way DeArmond and Mizzou athletic director Mike Alden recounted it.


“At 6:20 p.m., Alden said, his telephone rang. It was Anderson calling with a request for Alden to meet him around 6:45 p.m. in Anderson’s office at Mizzou Arena. Alden made the walk from his office on the opposite side of the arena to Anderson’s door.

‘He informed me at that time that he was going to be resigning his position with the University of Missouri as our head men’s basketball coach,’ Alden said.”

Well, thank you, Mike Alden, for letting us know exactly what Anderson’s title was, and thank you, Mike DeArmond, for taking up three lines of newsprint with that powerfully redundant information.

Now, I can hardly wait to see who Alden is going to hire as the next head men’s basketball coach at the University of Missouri.

Or should I say next head men’s basketball coach at the University of Missouri-Columbia?

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