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Harrick's Son Takes Blame for Controversial Car Sale

Basketball: Pac-10 investigation will focus on the price of the car and whether it influenced the recruit.

October 09, 1996|TIM KAWAKAMI | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Glenn Harrick, youngest son of UCLA basketball Coach Jim Harrick, said Tuesday he was "riddled with guilt" over his involvement in the sale of his father's car to a recruit's older sister and stressed that his father knew nothing of the deal until after it was completed.

The sale of Jim Harrick's 1991 Chevrolet Blazer to Lisa Hodoh, sister of highly regarded point guard Baron Davis, a senior at Santa Monica Crossroads High, occurred Sept. 20, two days after Davis orally committed to UCLA. Davis had been seen driving the car to school since the purchase.

The transaction is a potential violation of NCAA rules, which prohibit a recruit or the family members or friends of a recruit from benefiting by the actions of any staff member or representative of a school.

Today, David Price, Pac-10 associate commissioner, is scheduled to start his part of what he termed a "cooperative investigation" with the UCLA administration on the matter.

Glenn Harrick, 27, said from his home in Woodland Hills on Tuesday, "I'm terrified to think that I might be responsible for my father losing his job."

In a brief conversation in his office Tuesday, Jim Harrick, who has been instructed not to speak to the media on this subject by Athletic Director Peter T. Dalis, said he would postpone comment until after the investigation.

"I'd like to talk to you," Harrick said. "I have nothing to hide. But my school has decided that I should not speak about this matter to you and let the investigation take place."

If the Pac-10 and the university agree a violation has taken place, the matter is turned over to the conference's Compliance and Enforcement Committee, which would decide on sanctions before a final review by the NCAA, Price said Tuesday. If there is a disagreement between school and conference, the issue is brought before a hearing of the same committee.

Davis would immediately be declared ineligible to play for UCLA--pending a restoration hearing if requested--if "any type of violation" is ruled to have occurred during the recruitment process, Price said.

Price said he had no schedule for when the investigation might conclude.

Meanwhile, Glenn Harrick, a production assistant for Fox Sports West, took responsibility for actions he says his father knew nothing about, partially corroborating the explanation given by Dalis Monday night.

Though the car, bought in 1990, was always registered in his father's name, Glenn said it was his car "from the day it was bought," and that he got his father's signature on the title when he recently began thinking of selling it.

Glenn said he encountered Lisa Hodoh "a while ago" in the athletic department offices. Hodoh on Monday said she has been employed at the UCLA student union by Associated Students of UCLA since April.

"We just came to talking about it," Glenn Harrick said. "I said my car was for sale and she needed a car and we hooked up and it was easy as that. I had no idea that I would be involved in anything like this.

"I didn't even think [the transaction] could be an NCAA violation, didn't think twice. I had no idea."

Glenn Harrick wouldn't say if he knew at the time of the encounter that Hodoh was the sister of a prospective UCLA recruit. But he said, a few days after the sale, he told his father about it and who he sold the car to.

"I told him and then he was like, 'Oh, my God, I can't believe you could do that."

A UCLA official Monday said Glenn and Hodoh met at an auction center in Compton so Hodoh could inspect the car. Glenn didn't dispute that account, but in a later phone call, said the meeting had occurred at a Carson auction center.

Glenn Harrick said he and Hodoh met at the auction center because Hodoh told him she was considering making a purchase there.

About a week later, after some negotiations, Glenn Harrick said, the sale was made for $5,000--and Hodoh gave him eight post-office money orders for the amount agreed.

UCLA declined Tuesday to provide copies of the money orders. A UCLA spokesman said it is school policy not to release documents relating to an ongoing investigation.

The Kelley blue-book retail price of a 1991 Chevrolet Blazer is $12,750. Harrick's car, according to Glenn, is not four-wheel drive, however, which drops the value to $11,750. The car's 112,960 miles further decrease its retail value to about $9,100.

The Vehicle Information Network lists all the 1991 Chevrolet Blazers currently being advertised for sale in the Los Angeles Metro area. Of the 23 cars listed with an asking price, the range was from a high of $14,988 to a low of $6,500.

A used-car dealer, who had Harrick's vehicle described to him, said he would give it a selling price of $8,900, but would not acquire the car wholesale for more than $5,000. A used-car dealer's estimate to The Times Monday of a $16,000 selling price is too high, salesmen said.

"Five thousand really isn't low," Glenn Harrick said. "The car had a lot of miles on it, over 100,000. The body wasn't in great shape, had some junk on it."

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