Monday, June 4, 2012

Deane Martin's letter key in ISU investigations

Last week I passed a report on that Idaho State athletics were under investigations, including the men's basketball team. New details emerged over the weekend, and it probably won't make a lot of Idaho State fans very happy.

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.

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.”
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.

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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  1. Your bottom line is very well said.In fact your whole summary reflects the feelings of most ISU fans.

    Trust me on this one, this has more to do with the prior coaching staffs disdain for a former booster, because of his influence in the decision making process at Idaho State.

    Therein lies the problem, boosters being too close to the inside. It leaves ISU exposed to say the least.


  2. As a Bengal fan, I'm pissed ISU got itself into another situation like this. Does Phil Knight feel the need to seek out and strike up personal relationships with University of Oregon student athletes? I highly doubt it.

    This is from the article which has me concerned:

    Martin’s letter goes on to say that the booster “has personally involved himself with the families of potential recruits, and made similar offers to them. Healso has made those offers to junior college coaches, that it would be in their best financial interest to steer their players to Idaho State University.”

    The whole idea of the booster offering a "money handshake" comes down to one word against the other. The allegation that the booster has made offers to recruits' families and JC coaches will probably be the determining factor. If a targeted recruit or his family comes forward and says something like, "yeah, the booster told me I'd be taken care of financially or would give me a summer job in Pocatello," then I think ISU finds itself in a lot of hot water. I suppose it all comes down to who is asked what.

    Crap like this is why I wonder why I continue to support my alma mater. The complaint used to be that it was a good ol' boys club. That perception began to change, but I've heard it's creeping in again, albeit with a younger generation.

    Friggin unbelievable this is happening. Leadership? Who needs leadership?

  3. Wow cub, so it's true there is a booster that has "influence in the decision making process at Idaho State". Do you know more? Perhaps the NCAA should interview you. If I was a coach I would feel disdain too if a "booster" had ANY influence on players or decisions on my team. If this is true what you are saying cub, that you know of "booster influence" you should report it.

  4. Who is responsible for allowing this "booster to have influence". Is he a good friend of Jeff Tingey?

  5. ...and here come the vultures.

  6. Cub says to trust him, that he knows the booster is close to the inside. What does inside mean?

  7. I don't need to report anything, it already has been. I am also learning that these allegations/issues went clear back to the O'Brien era.

    If you read the BengalDen at all, you can see that folks were attempting to spill the beans as early as FEB.

    The point I want to make is this, there is tons of blame to go around and nobody can claim that someone is more responsible than others. OB had suspicions, student athletes had suspicions and the athletic department had suspicions. Also, don't believe that Martin was a little dove that didn't have a motive for revenge. All parties used this booster for what he could give to ISU monetarily, allowed him to be in positions that were dangerous to all parties and the booster was even invited to be a part of the recruiting process.

    Heads should roll, period.

    At first I was in denial on this whole thing. Until the Journal article broke, I didn't educate myself on what was going on and I didn't ask questions. With the APR issues finally getting taken care of, some nice facility upgrades being made and some new coaches to get excited about--this is the last thing I wanted to see.

    However, while some very positive things are happening at ISU, elementary mistakes are being made over and over again in the ISU athletic department. Tingey is the leader and needs to be accountable, I will concede that...but everyone participated for their own benefit and that is something that I am very very concerned with.

    These are things that alienate the fanbase, boosters and potential booster. It breaks my heart, truly, the lack of institutional control in the ISU athletic department.


  8. As much as I hate to say this, I know Jeff extremely well, but he is at fault here. He is the leader of the department, the one person who is responsible for securing the integrity of ISU athletics and from what I am reading and hearing, he hasn't done that. Allowing a booster to do what is being said is a flagrant example of "lack of institutional control." I hope Jeff can ride this wave to the beach and become a better administrator for it, but chances are he will be seeing his walking papers once the NCAA is done with their investigation. As for Martin, to me, it is a clear sign of what type of person he is. From his actions, it seems that he knew what was happening a lot earlier than when he delivered the letter. Either he didn't care about the boosters actions and actually condoned them, or he isn't someone that is observant. I say sour grapes.

  9. Do you really think that Dr. Kent Tingey the Vice President of Idaho State University is going to let his son Jeff Tingey the Athletic Director take the fall here? The only reason Jeff would feel he could get away with this type of behavior is because he knows he is protected by his father who gave him the job. This type of nepotism should give us all sour grapes.

  10. We need a clean break from the athletic director Jeff Tingey. Cub says it goes back to the O'Brien era. We will see, I bet it's only the Jeff Tingey era. Jeff Tingey was hired by his father after O'Brien was hired. We never had these problems before Tingey and his booster buddies.

  11. Jeff wasn't ready to be an AD. He didn't have the know how, maturity, understanding, nor the personality for the gig. Like a previous person who made a comment, I know Jeff very well from his time at Weber State. I will say he is an extremely hard worker and driven, but he isn't the most organized or dependable person. Everyone knows how Jeff got the job, yet, until things got ugly, there were a lot of Bengals who thought Jeff was the right man for the position. Who knows how much interaction Jeff had with the issue directly, regardless, he is the man at the helm and needs to take responsibility. Even if he doesn't, he will be forced to anyway.

  12. Most Bengal fans knew and understood how Jeff got the job. Nonetheless, he never did anything (until possibly now) which warranted him having the job taken away from him -- that is, he was actually pretty effective in terms of making and accomplishing priorities which strengthended ISU's infrastructure. He probablby did more for facilities in the past few years as all of the previous AD's did in the previous 30 years (and yeah, I've been around that long to see it all). Sure, he was green in some areas, didn't come across too confident in group settings, and seems shy when interviewed on TV or radio. As long as he produced and provided longevity, something the department desperately needed, then those previous things didn't matter so much.

    Unfortunately, if all of these latest actions are true, and everything I'm hearing says they are, then yeah, he needs to go. The department needs someone of integrity, and he isn't showing that at all. He has let the department, school, and community down.