The Frank Haith hiring has always lingered somewhere between questionable and interesting. The former Miami head coach took over for Mike Anderson to lead the Mizzou Tigers basketball program with questionable results from his former institution, and the hiring seemed like a step down from where Missouri has been positioned over the last several years under Anderson. Yet now that the frenzy has stepped up at Miami over the multiple allegations against the university, there's no doubting the mainstream public opinion of Haith's hiring.
Not that Haith has been proved guilty, but it's hard in the court of public opinion to be considered free of wrongdoing when the allegations run so deep as what's been reported in the initial Yahoo! Sports story. Both the Miami basketball and football programs have been called into question. As the report details, "Shapiro said he violated NCAA rules with the knowledge or direct participation of at least six coaches – Clint Hurtt, Jeff Stoutland and Aubrey Hill on the football staff, and Frank Haith, Jake Morton and Jorge Fernandez on the basketball staff."
Later on, Haith had to release a statement of denial through Missouri based on one specific allegation that he was directly involved with. "The booster said his role went one step farther with the basketball program, when he paid $10,000 to help secure the commitment of recruit DeQuan Jones. Shapiro said the transaction was set up by assistant coach Jake Morton in 2007 who acted as the conduit for the funds, and was later acknowledged by head coach Frank Haith in a one-on-one conversation."
ESPN's Andy Katz agrees that Haith needs to be vindicated soon if he's going to survive the entire affair, since colleges don't want this sort of thing lingering in the air over their team. This is a frustrating development since Haith has a strong core group of players for next season. Yet Katz's statement rings true when he writes:
"If it’s proven that Haith knew about the payment, then he’s done at Missouri. It's simply not survivable -- and it wasn't exactly a popular hire among Tiger faithful anyway. And depending on what (if anything) the NCAA finds, Haith could also get a stronger show-cause penalty to go along with unemployment"
If Haith can prove that he wasn't involved or complicit in the scandal, here's hoping he finds proof and comes out with it soon. Otherwise, Missouri is going to find itself caught up in the tsunami that starts in South Florida.