On Jan. 21, news broke regarding the NCAA‘s charges against Frank Haith, head coach of the mens basketball team at the University of Missouri-Columbia. MU hired Haith as the head basketball coach for his first season in 2012 amidst rumors that he allegedly participated in a scandal along with his former staff and team members at the University of Miami in Florida.
From his time as coach of the Hurricanes from 2004 to 2011, he has been charged with unethical conduct and failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance, according to CBSSports.com. The accusations were levied against Haith in a past situation where he allegedly made payments to assistants for basketball camps, but the money turned up elsewhere – in a player’s possession. In addition, Haith is also being investigated for providing air travel to two players’ families.
Although Haith has 90 days to respond to the accusations before having to appear before the NCAA Committee of Infractions, with charges for breaking NCAA rules, RBHS students still had much to say on the issue involving the hometown college basketball team and shared their thoughts, on the morals and possible reasonings involved, and explored how the allegations facing Haith might affect the rest of the basketball season and the team as a whole.
Bearing News asked students around RBHS:
1. To what extent is bribing someone acceptable?
2. How does Frank Haith’s alleged bribing of players affect his team?
Favorite Action Movie Actor
Sam Wohleold, junior
“If [bribing] is lighthearted, it’s fine, but if you’re breaking the rules like in Frank Haith’s situation in the NCAA, it’s not OK .”
“He could potentially get fired, so it could destroy the season. I don’t really know what’s going to happen to him, so it’s hard to say now. But also, it’s morally wrong, so it’s going to look back on a lot of players’ wrongs for Miami [and] is going to raise concern for Mizzou too.”
Amanda Baker, junior
“Some bribing is ok, like bribing little kids … with candy. But I’ve heard of people being bribed in lots of sports, and I think it happens a lot in college and people don’t know about it. For example, I’ve heard of how some football players get bribed with money. The coach will say, ‘We’ll give you $100,000 because we know you are going to go to the NFL, and you can pay us back later.'”
“Well, I think it makes the team look bad, and people are going to judge in specific ways, and I feel like it happens a lot, and it’s just unfortunate that he got caught.”
West Wilson, senior
“I think [bribing] is kind of low, and it’s not really fair to other people, but if both people agree to something, then I don’t think you can really stop it because it’s both people saying yes. I mean it’s bad, obviously, because it’s a way of cheating, and if other people you’re competing with are doing it [the] right way, and you’re doing it in an underground [way] and the wrong way, then no, its not fair.”
“Mizzou — not as much right now, it might be some off-the-court drama that they might have to deal with. That would maybe distract them. And then Miami obviously, a lot of people could get in trouble, and the school could have, not rules, but be punished and might not be allowed in the tournament … For them that kind of sucks if they didn’t do anything wrong, and they get in trouble for it.”
Matt Echelmeier, sophomore
“I feel like bribing is in no way acceptable. You should be fair and follow the rules.”
“I’m not really sure how it’s all working out, but I know he will be in trouble, and when he is gone, Mizzou will be affected a lot, and we won’t be [as] successful as we could be if he didn’t have this struggle, and it will hurt us for a little bit, but I feel like we will bounce back.”
Mike Woods Jr., copy center staff
“There is no extent. Bribing is wrong because it leads to other things.”
“Because it’s a question of his honesty and integrity … Allegedly he has bribed players in Florida so who’s to say or question our minds that he hasn’t bribed a player here? The Dixon thing — who knows what was said and who was said. You have to be careful about things like that because your integrity is all you have, and if your word is no good, people will start losing faith in you.”
Megan Goree, senior
“Bribing is OK to the extent that it doesn’t interfere with professional situations, and it doesn’t hurt people, and it’s not illegal.”
“I don’t know if it really affects both teams but maybe that he let it happen and then since it’s something in the past, he’s living with it now and let it go on so long, so then it kind of doesn’t make him look like a very good coach, and it makes Mizzou look bad, especially with all the other conflicts that have happened on the basketball team and [with] coach [Gary] Pinkel. It’s just making Mizzou athletics look shady.”
Interviews by Kaitlyn Marsh
Photos by Daphne Yu
Do you think bribery is OK? How will allegations against Frank Haith affect Mizzou’s basketball team?