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Report Concludes Haskins Told Lies

College basketball: Minnesota's president critical of former coach; two athletic officials resign.

November 20, 1999|From Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — Former Minnesota coach Clem Haskins lied to investigators about "widespread academic misconduct" in his basketball program and also told his players to lie, a report concluded Friday.

Two of the university's top athletic officials resigned hours before the release of the report, which sharply criticized the athletic department, academic counseling supervisors and faculty for failing to detect the improper assistance to players.

The scandal began in March when former tutor Jan Gangelhoff said she had done more than 400 papers for as many as 20 basketball players between 1993 and 1998. The investigative report, prepared for the university by an outside law firm, substantiated most of Gangelhoff's claims.

As the report was released, university President Mark Yudof announced the resignations of McKinley Boston, vice president of student development and athletics, and Mark Dienhart, men's athletics director.

Haskins, meanwhile, issued a statement through his attorney denying he had knowledge of the academic fraud.

"I did not know that Jan Gangelhoff was writing papers for players. I have not told anyone to lie or interfere with investigators; I have not made improper payments to players or Jan Gangelhoff," Haskins said.

While Yudof said he believed Boston and Dienhart were good men who simply managed badly, he had sharp words about Haskins.

"I am angry," Yudof said. "I feel I was lied to to my face, and that the problem was much deeper, and that this program was corrupt in almost any way one can think about it."

The investigation also found that Haskins gave up to $200 in cash directly to three athletes, and that he arranged a standing hotel discount for parents of athletes even though he had been cited by the NCAA for a similar violation at Western Kentucky.

Yudof said the team competed with one or more ineligible players in the last five seasons because of the academic help, and forfeits and repayments of some postseason money may result.

The 1,000-page report portrayed Haskins as a "power coach" who became "untouchable" in the eyes of some administrators and faculty.

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