The key to triggering these investigations was a letter from former interim head coach Deane Martin sent to AD Jeff Tingey and the NCAA, according to the Idaho State Journal.
The former interim coach, Deane Martin, sent the letter to ISU Athletic Director Jeff Tingey the day after being passed over for the permanent men’s basketball coaching position.Obviously many ISU fans are crying sour grapes, and really, it's not hard to blame them. For one, Martin did not contact the AD when first contacted by the booster, but reportedly the day after he was passed over for the permanent head coaching job, which was given to Bill Evans. If he was concerned about the NCAA violation, why didn't he contact the athletic director immediately when the [alleged] violation occurred? Why wait until after he was not hired? Maybe he was just doing this to cover himself, but the timing is odd at best, nefarious at worst.
After Tingey responded by saying Martin was making “potentially slanderous statements” in the letter, Martin provided the document to the NCAA. The Journal has been told that NCAA investigators are currently on the ISU campus trying to figure out if sports teams at the university have committed violations of NCAA rules. Typically, NCAA investigations take several months before any findings are released.
Martin’s letter, dated March 6, alleges that a booster told him “in the presence of another witness, that he wanted to insure that ISU got the best recruit we could, and he offered his support. Specifically (the booster) indicated that if it took a ‘money handshake’ from him to a coach or a recruit, to seal the deal, he was happy to do that.”
Of course, that doesn't mean that Idaho State handled it well. It appears that AD Jeff Tingey didn't exactly try to work with Martin to figure out if there was a problem or not. He responded (again, this is all based on reports) by saying Martin was making "potentially slanderous statements." At best, his response, or what we know of it, seems a bit arrogant. It apparently led to Martin sending the letter to the NCAA, and the rest is history.
Bottom line, nobody comes out of this looking good. I think it is too early to presume that violations did occur, but even the fact that ISU will have to go through this does not look good on them. They wanted a clean break from the past coaching staff, but it appears it will be a while before that break can fully happen.
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