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Thread: Tracking the Josh Peter Story

  1. #1
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    Default Unnecessary Reminder on 30 Year Anniversary

    Louisiana La. -- It has been thirty years since minor infractions (by todays standards) caused the bogus basketball death penalty that hit Louisiana's 1973 campus.

    Now we have more bogus allegations.


  2. Default SWEET RIDE

    The NCAA prohibits colleges athletes from using their status to gain 'extra benefits' -- such as the use of a car or jobs for family members -- but it's not always easy to determine what the rules allow

    When he's driving the black 2000 Nissan Altima across campus, Duke point guard Chris Duhon is easy to spot. A dead giveaway is the personalized license plate: C DOO 21.

    Duhon wears jersey No. 21, and he directs Duke's offense with the same steadiness he showed at Salmen High School in Slidell, but the car might surprise the people from his hometown. After all, in high school Duhon didn't have a car, and had to hitch rides with friends or borrow his mother's 1972 Volkswagen Beetle, a former Salmen teammate said.

    But things have changed since 2000, when Duhon enrolled at Duke and his mother, Vivian Harper, moved to Durham, N.C., to be close to her oldest son. Harper, who got a job at a company run by a Duke basketball supporter, now owns a 1993 Jeep Cherokee. She also owns the Altima, according to North Carolina motor vehicle records.

    More conspicuous than Duhon's Altima is the black 1998 Mercedes SUV with gray trim being driven by Brandon Bass, a high school All-American from Baton Rouge who has committed to play basketball at LSU. Then there's the white 2002 Cadillac Escalade being driven by Anthony Johnson, a senior guard at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.

    While the recent academic scandals at Georgia, Fresno State and St. Bonaventure constitute alleged NCAA rules violations, less clear are examples such as those involving Duhon, Bass and Johnson. NCAA rules prohibit college athletes from using their athletic status or future earning potential to receive "extra benefits," defined by NCAA rules as "any special arrangement by an institutional employee or a representative of the institution's athletics interests to provide a student-athlete or the student-athlete's relative or friend a benefit not expressly authorized by the NCAA legislation."

    A three-month investigation by The Times-Picayune found:

    -- Duhon's mother, Vivian Harper, landed a job working for a Duke booster; co-workers say the job opening was never posted and that Harper was overpaid and lacked qualifications. When a manager at the company asked why Harper was moving from Louisiana, supervisors informed him that her son, one of the nation's top recruits, had signed to play at Duke.

    -- Bass has regular use of a Mercedes-Benz that the wife of an adviser said she owns and allows him to use. The adviser, Terry Reado, previously worked for a sports agent firm and played a central role in Bass' recruitment by colleges. Reado acknowledged that he took dozens of calls each day from college coaches inquiring about Bass.

    -- Johnson has been seen frequently driving a Cadillac Escalade owned by a woman who at one time registered a car at the same address as ULL head coach Jessie Evans, according to vehicle records. One of Johnson's former coaches said the player lived with Evans for several months.

    Determining whether such arrangements are within NCAA rules can be difficult.

    David Price, the NCAA's vice president for enforcement services, said he can't comment on specific cases. But he said, "You're probably going through some of the same thought processes that our investigators go through, in having to find if those are legitimate transactions."

    The NCAA doesn't investigate every case brought to its attention. Price said it's a matter of resources: Because the enforcement staff has only 16 investigators to monitor about 1,000 schools -- including more than 300 schools that compete in Division I sports -- Price's staff determines if it has enough credible information before proceeding with a full-blown investigation.

    The enforcement staff's $4 million budget is less than 1 percent of the NCAA's annual revenue, which this year includes $360 million from television rights for the men's tournament, culminating this weekend with the Final Four at the Superdome.

    "We play the hand we're dealt," Price said. "I also do not believe that the membership (schools) would be interested in having a huge throng of investigators roaming the country."

    The rest of the story

    The Times-Picayune
    By Josh Peter
    Staff writer

    Josh Peter can be reached at jpeter@timespicayune.com or (504) 826-3407.

  3. Default Wheeling and Dealing

    The Josh Peter story - sweet ride or rimjob?


    Let me see if I have this straight.

    Lebron James, the best prep player in the world and soon to be a member of the NBA, drives a brand new Hummer that includes more televisions in it than do most family dwellings. In Baton Rouge, LSU recruit and high school All-American Brandon Bass has been known to tool around in a 1998 Mercedes ML-320. Another high school All-American, Duke point guard Chris Duhon, drives a 2000 Nissan Altima with personalized license plates. But University of Louisiana ... at Lafayette departing senior Anthony Johnson, who didn't even make All-Sun Belt this year, has access to a 2002 Cadillac Escalade.

    What's wrong with this picture?

    A lot, and in more ways than one.

    Staff Writer Josh Peter's article in last Thursday's edition of the New Orleans Times-Picayune definitely stirred the pot among local basketball fans. Depending on who you talk to, Peters is either the most enterprising journalist since Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein or he's the antichrist. His story, well-researched and loaded with quotes and implications, has cast at least the shadow of doubt on the integrity of the three basketball programs involved. Considering the timing involved, what with the NCAA Final Four being played at the Superdome last weekend, the story also sold a lot of newspapers.

    The rest of the story



    The Times
    Don Allen / Sports and Movies

  4. Default Cajun basketball probe moving forward

    LOUISIANA La. — Louisiana's investigation into possible illegal extra benefits provided to Ragin' Cajun basketball player Anthony Johnson apparently now has a point guard.

    Athletic Director Nelson Schexnayder said Wednesday that the university is hoping to retain the services of Charles E. Smrt, a former member of the NCAA enforcement staff, to look into allegations listed in a New Orleans Times-Picayune story one week ago.


    "I'm not handling the discussions," Schexnayder said Wednesday, "but that's what I understand is going to happen."

    Schexnayder said that the investigation will be coordinated through the university's Office of Auxiliary Services. David Walker, director of that office, has in the past coordinated similar inquiries into allegations of NCAA wrongdoing.

    Louisiana President Dr. Ray Authement favored an independent investigator, according to Schexnayder.

    Smrt formerly served as the NCAA's director of enforcement, but left the organization at approximately the same time that the NCAA moved its headquarters from Shawnee Mission, Kan., to Indianapolis in 1999.

    During his time with the NCAA, Smrt was involved with investigations involving several high-profile student-athletes, including former Rhode Island basketball player Lamar Odom.

    Smrt was listed in 2000 as part of a firm called The Compliance Group, which assisted with internal inquiries into possible NCAA infractions for several schools.

    The rest of the story

    South Louisiana Publishing
    Dan McDonald
    dmcdonald@lafayette.gannett.com

  5. UL Basketball ADVERTISER: NCAA clears UL of infractions

    LOUISIANA La. — The NCAA confirmed Thursday what Louisiana basketball coach Jessie Evans asserted all along, that the Ragin' Cajun program was innocent of infractions alleged in an April 3 article printed in the (New Orleans) Times Picayune.

    The wide-ranging article indicated that Cajun forward Anthony Johnson spent several months living with Evans. The article also questioned his use of a 2002 Cadillac Escalade, which was registered in his girlfriend's name.

    As soon as the article appeared, Louisiana President Ray Authement and Athletic Director Nelson Schexnayder set in motion an independent investigation of the allegations.

    That probe found no infractions related to Johnson's relationships outside the program, and the university received a letter from the NCAA on Thursday indicating that it felt the matter was closed.

    The rest of the story



    Bruce Brown
    bbrown@theadvertiser.com

  6. Default ADVOCATE: Probe fails to uncover violations at UL

    LOUISIANA La. -- The NCAA and a separate investigation have failed to uncover any violations involving the University of Louisiana ... at Lafayette men's basketball program, according to a press release issued by the university on Thursday.
    ULL Athletic Director Nelson Schexnayder requested the investigation in April, following a New Orleans Times-Picayune story alleging potential NCAA violations involving senior guard Anthony Johnson.

    On Thursday Schexnayder said UL takes any allegations of non-compliance with NCAA rules "very seriously."

    Schexnayder said, "Obviously we're very happy that no violations of any sort were found. We had hoped from the start that would be the conclusion."

    The Times Picayune story, written by Josh Peters, alleged Johnson at one time lived at the residence of head basketball coach Jessie Evans.

    Johnson, also according to the story, had been seen in Lafayette driving a 2002 Cadillac Escalade owned by Christina Dartez, identified by Peters as Johnson's girlfriend.

    According to the story, Dartez had at one time registered another vehicle at Evans' home address and gave Johnson money.

    Schexnayder said the investigation into the allegations was conducted by a group of individuals not associated with UL.

    Some of those performing the investigation of the story's allegations were members of a Sun Belt Conference compliance committee, he said.

    "The main issues that were raised was whether (Johnson) ever lived with (Evans), which would have been an improper benefit and whether Anthony Johnson's use of a luxury vehicle was provided by a representative of the university," Schexnayder said.

    Evans said he considered the allegations raised in the article "a pack of lies."

    The rest of the story



    By BOBBY ARDOIN
    Special to The Advocate

  7. Default PICAYUNE: UL investigation finds no wrongdoing

    NCAA accepts report, considers case closed



    By Josh Peter
    Picayune Staff writer

    An investigation into whether the University of Louisiana men's basketball team committed NCAA rules violations found no wrongdoing, and the NCAA considers the matter a closed case, according to documents released by UL on Thursday.

    The school launched the investigation in response to an April 3 article in The Times-Picayune detailing the possible rules violations. At the time, the school said its primary concerns were whether UL basketball coach Jessie Evans provided extra benefits to senior guard Anthony Johnson, and whether a woman whose car Johnson has been seen driving could be considered a representative of the school's interests.

    "I thought it was a thoughtless allegation," Evans said Thursday. "I don't feel vindicated. It's not worthy of a comment, really."

    The school's investigation was conducted by a member of the Sun Belt Conference, of which UL is a member. UL attempted to hire Chuck Smrt, a former investigator with the NCAA. But Smrt does not have a state license required to work as a private investigator in Louisiana, so UL turned to its conference office.

    The investigation found that Johnson used Evans' address to receive mail because the university's dorm mail service was "unreliable," but Johnson did not live at the coach's residence. The school's athletes no longer will be permitted to use their coaches' address to receive mail, according to a letter UL president Ray Authement sent to the NCAA.

    Johnnail Evans, who coached Johnson when the player was growing up in Chicago and advised Johnson during the college recruiting process, told The Times-Picayune for its April 3 article that Johnson lived for several months with Jessie Evans.

    The rest of the story



    Josh Peter can be reached at jpeter@timespicayune.com or (504) 826-3407.

  8. #8
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    Default

    Originally posted by Turbine

    Louisiana La. -- It has been thirty years since minor infractions (by todays standards) caused the bogus basketball death penalty that hit Louisiana's 1973 campus.

    Now we have more bogus allegations.

    I remember, and I'm probably remembering it wrong, an official from USL said that there were 100+ infractions and two of them were "damn lies"

    Sidebar- I've often entertained writing about that episode, and would love top see any archived stuff on that topic you have. Is anyone here a member of the "Cajun Mafia?"

  9. #9
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    Default

    Originally posted by pirogue
    I remember, and I'm probably remembering it wrong, an official from USL said that there were 100+ infractions and two of them were "damn lies"
    Actually, that was Beryl Shipley who said that

    Originally posted by pirogue

    Sidebar- I've often entertained writing about that episode, and would love top see any archived stuff on that topic you have. Is anyone here a member of the "Cajun Mafia?"
    I brought it up with Ron Gomez, who is also a fine author, about writing about this episode in UL's history. He entertained it for a while, but decided not to. Apparently, a lot of the principals don't want to talk about it. Don Allen was offered an advance from a publisher to do the story, but the offer was mysteriously withdrawn a short time later.

  10. #10
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    Default

    Originally posted by CDeb
    Actually, that was Beryl Shipley who said that



    I brought it up with Ron Gomez, who is also a fine author, about writing about this episode in UL's history. He entertained it for a while, but decided not to. Apparently, a lot of the principals don't want to talk about it. Don Allen was offered an advance froma publisher to do the story, but the offer was mysteriously withdrawn a short time later.
    Now I'm really interested in doing something.

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