MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – The University of Miami confirmed Wednesday evening the feds are indeed investigating a member of its basketball staff and a recruit.
The shadow that looms over the UM basketball program is the latest bombshell in the far-reaching scandal that just brought down one hall-of-fame coach.
While UM was not specifically named in the legal paperwork, President Julio Frenk released a statement on the development of federal involvement. He wrote, in part:
“We have confirmed with the U.S. Attorney’s Office that, at this time, it is investigating a potential tie to one member of our coaching staff and a student recruit.
“While we are alarmed and disappointed, we are steadfast in our belief that we must also act with the highest level of integrity and commitment to the pursuit of truth.”
Frenk added that the university has “pledged our full and completed cooperation with the Department of Justice probe.”
An attorney for University of Miami head coach Jim Larranaga says Larranaga has no involvement with any accusations in a federal probe of college basketball recruiting at seven universities.
Miami and Larranaga acknowledged the investigation into alleged bribery of recruits, which implicated the Hurricanes program.
Larranaga’s attorney Stuart Grossman says Larranaga “is unfamiliar with this matter and had zero involvement in any allegations of any impropriety.”
Grossman says Larranaga will continue to lead the team.
Athletic director Blake James also issued a statement saying the school was aware of the indictments in the case, and would cooperate with any review of the matter.
Federal prosecutors say among several allegations that at least three top high school recruits were promised payments of as much as $150,000, using money supplied by Adidas, to attend two universities sponsored by the athletic shoe company. Court papers didn’t name those schools but contained enough details to identify them as Miami and Louisville.
Louisville has placed coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich on administrative leave.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)