Nevada's athletic director announced Tuesday
that NCAA investigators have cleared the program of the most
serious allegations that sparked a 10-month-long probe of the
school, including issues related to gambling.
Nothing will be final until the NCAA's Committee on Infractions
acts on the investigative report, but the investigators who visited
the campus last year and this determined "we have no lack of
institutional control and no issues related to gambling," Cary
Groth said at a news conference.
Those claims had been leveled by former women's soccer coach
Terri Patraw, who maintains she was fired last year in retaliation
for reporting such violations.
Patraw claimed - among other things - that sports bets had been
placed in violation of NCAA rules in Reno-area casinos by Nevada
men's golf coach Rich Merritt, who since has resigned.
Groth said Tuesday she doesn't anticipate any additional
personnel changes at the school as a result of the probe. She
suspended Merritt for three matches last fall after an internal
probe found he had provided free meals to athletes and exchanged a
frequent-flier airline ticket with an athlete.
Groth said at the time the school had self-reported those
incidents to the NCAA. She said on Tuesday NCAA officials informed
her last week about the investigators' findings regarding the
additional allegations regarding gambling and lack of institutional
"Obviously our department is elated with this decision," Groth
told reporters. "You never know what's going to happen when
someone comes in and investigates your program. You don't know
what's out there ... but we had confidence in our program."
"At the University of Nevada, we pride ourselves on our
character and commitment to operating our athletics department with
the highest degree of integrity and complying with all of the rules
of the NCAA," she said.
"This is how we operate and we believe it was validated by this
investigation," Groth said.
Stacey Osburn, a spokeswoman for the NCAA at its headquarters in
Indianapolis, said the organization does not comment on ongoing
Once the matter goes before the Infractions Committee and a
decision is made as to whether to hand down any penalties, the NCAA
will issue a public report, she said.
"Until that point, we don't comment," she said, adding that
she did not know when that would happen.
Jean Perry, Nevada's special assistant to the president for
athletics, academics and compliance, said it could be "a few
months before we actually get it finalized."
"The case is not closed," she said Tuesday. "The
investigators have finished the process that they are involved
Merritt announced his resignation in May, saying he felt it was
"in the best interest of the program that I move on."
"I've made some errors in judgment that the athletic department
was not aware of which negatively impacted the program," he said
in a statement the school issued at the time.
Perry said at that time there was "no relationship with the
ongoing investigation and the coach's resignation."
"The resignation was independent of that," she told the Reno
But Groth suggested on Tuesday that Merritt's departure was at
least indirectly related to allegations leveled in the course of
Asked what were among the most serious corrective actions the
school had taken since the probe began, Groth said:
"Well, there has been a change in the men's golf program and
that was done prior to the conclusion of this investigation. I
would say personnel was the most serious," she said.
Rhonda Lundin, assistant athletic director for media services,
said she could not comment on personnel matters but that the
allegations investigated by the NCAA did directly not lead to
"His continued poor judgment led to his agreed-upon
resignation," she said.
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