NCAA: Hurtt facing 'unethical conduct,' other major violations - WDRB 41 Louisville News

NCAA: Louisville's Hurtt facing 'unethical conduct,' other major violations

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- University of Louisville football assistant Clint Hurtt is facing numerous major violations, including charges of unethical conduct, according to the NCAA's notice of allegations released by U of L today in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by WDRB and other outlets.

Click HERE to read the notice.

The NCAA notice, which had not been released to the public until today despite numerous details having been leaked in various media outlets, contains no previously unreported violations, but does allege that Hurtt provided "false and misleading" information to NCAA enforcement staff during an interview in November of 2011 that included Hurtt, NCAA officials and representatives from U of L.

A letter from Rachel Newman-Baker, the NCAA's managing director of enforcement, informed U of L that, "there is no institutional responsibility on the part of Louisville for possible violations involving Mr. Hurtt." However, it also warned U of L that, "action could be taken that would limit Mr. Hurtt's athletically related duties at Louisville for a designated period if he is found in violation by the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions or the NCAA Division I Infractions Appeals Committee."

The letter alleges that Hurtt:

-- Received a $2,500 interest-free loan from then Miami booster Nevin Shapiro.

-- Knew of Shapiro's involvement in recruiting seven prospective football players to Miami between 2006 and '09.

-- Along with other assistants, provided impermissible benefits directly to five then-football recruits and three members of a recruit's family. The approximate total value of benefits provided was at least $3,315. Included in those benefits were the following:

1) Provided impermissible transportation, meals and lodging to recruits.

2) During unofficial visits, allowed multiple football recruits to stay at his residence and provided meals, all at no cost, as well as provided them with local transportation.

3) During an unofficial visit, transported recruits from his home to Shapiro's residence. While there, the recruits interacted with current Miami players, Hurtt, Shapiro and others, got rides in Shapiro's Mercedes and played in a pool competition for which Shapiro provided prize money.

4) Had a meal at Grazie Italian Cuisine with football recruits and players, provided transportation and arranged in advance for Shapiro to pay for the meal. Total value of benefits provided was at least $529.

Hurtt also is alleged to have sent 41 impermissible text messages and made two impermissible phone calls between 2007 and '09.

The notice alleges that Hurtt violated NCAA unethical conduct bylaws when he provided impermissible benefits to three recruits and arranged for impermissible benefits to be made. It also alleges that Hurtt provided "false and misleading information" to NCAA enforcement personnel during an interview with the NCAA with officials from Miami and U of L present on Nov. 3, 2011.

The NCAA alleges that Hurtt lied to investigators, "when he denied providing meals, transportation and some of the lodging to four then football prospective student-athletes. . . . Additionally, Hurtt denied arranging for Shapiro to pay for the meals of four then football prospective student-athletes and three then football student-athletes, as well as attending the meal, as detailed in Allegation No. 5-(d). Hurtt's statements were in direct contradiction to information provided by the then football prospective student-athletes and some of the then football student-athletes involved."

The unethical conduct charges -- in violation of NCAA Bylaws 10.1c and 10.1d -- could carry a "show cause" penalty which can, depending on the infraction committee's judgment, make Hurtt's current employer liable if he is hired or remains in its employ.

Hurtt's three seasons at U of L without any NCAA problems could be a mitigating factor in his favor, as could ethical difficulties the NCAA has admitted in investigating the case.

Hurtt has not commented on the allegations against him, but Jurich says he disputes them and plans to put on an aggressive defense.

After seeing the allegations, U of L athletic director Tom Jurich said late last week that he will let the NCAA's due process play out before making a decision on Hurtt, but that the coach's duties will not be curtailed in the interim.

Hurtt has 90 days to respond to the allegations in writing, after which he'll face a hearing with the NCAA's committee on infractions. U of L officials will be invited to observe that meeting, but will not participate.

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