Former Cal coach Tosh Lupoi has been accused of funneling cash to a recruit's family to improve his academics. Not quite as bad as the headline might make you think, but still. Sark denies everything:
USC and Washington are investigating whether a football coach who worked under Steve Sarkisian at Washington violated NCAA rules by paying for private tutoring and online classes for a recruit.
The allegations surround the recruitment of Andrew Basham, a former defensive lineman at Lynnwood High in Washington, who signed a letter of intent with the Huskies last February but did not qualify academically to enroll.
Mike Davis, a throwing coach who helped Basham win a state shotput title, told The Times that Tosh Lupoi, Washington's defensive line coach, gave him $3,000 to cover private tutoring for Basham through a test preparation company. Davis said he also received $1,500 from Lupoi to reimburse Basham's father for online classes Andrew could use to raise his grade-point average.
NCAA rules prohibit universities from paying for a prospect's academic services. Head coaches are required to "promote an atmosphere of compliance" and are held responsible for the actions of assistant coaches and administrators who report, directly or indirectly, to them.
Lupoi did not return phone calls seeking interview requests for this story. Informed by text message that there were allegations he delivered cash on at least two occasions to a go-between to reimburse expenses for tutoring and online classes for Basham, Lupoi said in a text, "Well that's certainly false. I deny such allegations of violating NCAA rules w/ the recruitment of Andrew Basham.
Not so juicy, but it seems unlikely that this was an isolated incident. Maybe I'm wrong and this is the only time that Lupoi (allegedly!) provided cash to a recruit's family. Although this may not seem like a major problem in and of itself, it comes at a particularly bad time for Lupoi. He was angling to get a USC job with Sark and in the LA Times article there, it states that that is now "less than zero." Although I'll let that math error slide there (these are USC people we are talking about, afterall), it might hinder Lupoi's chances of staying at UW, too.
Maybe he'll come back to coach for Cal! Also, gravity just reversed itself and we are all walking upside down these days. GO BEARS!