69
      Monday
      89 / 68
      Tuesday
      90 / 68
      Wednesday
      90 / 68

      'Closure' for Haith

      L.G. Patterson/AP

      So after all of that, we end up with this:

      A five-game suspension for Missouri basketball coach Frank Haith for his actions while he was head coach at Miami, Fla.

      This is so typical of the NCAA, which usually stands for Not Certain About Anything.

      They just spent more than two years and millions of dollars to build a 95-cent fly swatter to get one fly.

      And it took no less than 102 pages to explain it, in a ruling that was announced Tuesday.

      "The former head men's basketball coach failed to meet his responsibilities as a head coach when he did not monitor the activities of his assistant coaches, and attempted to cover up the booster's threats to disclose incriminating information, according to the committee," the report stated.

      In February, the NCAA charged Haith with "failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance." In other words, he lied.

      From the start, this ordeal has had more twists and turns than a pretzel. Here are a few "highlights" and an attempt to make sense of the nonsensical.

      Take a deep breath.

      * A guy named Nevin Shapiro allegedly paid $10,000 to the family of DeQuan Jones, a top-25 recruit Haith landed while he was with the Hurricanes. And Haith, the NCAA said, knew about this.

      * Shapiro later allegedly tried to blackmail Haith by threatening to go public about the payment. And Shapiro did this from prison, no less, as he's serving a 20-year sentence for masterminding a $930 million Ponzi scheme.

      * In an interview with the NCAA on Sept. 5, 2012, Haith admitted that he knew Shapiro was being paid to keep him quiet.

      * Haith later requested another interview three weeks later and contradicted those statements.

      (Having fun yet?)

      * Haith then requested a third interview because, apparently, he realized that by telling the truth during the first interview, he had not only implicated himself, but also an assistant coach in a scheme to cover up violations, the report said.

      "The committee finds," the report continues, "the former head men's basketball coach's September 25 version of events and his explanation (or lack therof) for the significant changes in his statements of facts are not persuasive."

      (Sigh. Lastly ...)

      * The investigation was put on hold in January because: "The NCAA national office has uncovered an issue of improper conduct within its enforcement program that occurred during the University of Miami investigation."

      In other words, the "police" botched the crime scene. It happens.

      Ask O.J.

      Through it all, Haith has declared his innocence and has 15 days to appeal this decision. That will not happen, apparently.

      "While I strongly disagree with today's report," Haith said in a statement Tuesday, "and the inference on how the program was run ... I accept responsibility for all actions in around that program.

      "This has been an excruciating ordeal for my family. An appeal, which would likely drag further into the season, would only prolong what has already been a lengthy and trying period of time for our student-athletes, the University of Missouri and our fans, and it's time for closure."

      Closure. No kidding. And when you consider all the "evidence," Haith should consider himself a very lucky man.

      Thank you, NCAA.

      So Haith will apparently miss Missouri's first five regular-season games this season --- home games against Southeastern Louisiana, Southern Illinois, Gardner-Webb and IUPUI, and a game in Kansas City against Hawaii.

      I'm pretty sure you, I or your dog could coach the Tigers in those game and they'd be 5-0.

      While I'm Not Certain About Anything, I'm pretty sure about that.

      That was a lot to end up with this.