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ABrownGMG

Basketball Scandal?

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8 hours ago, Mrs. Esterhouse said:

From what I understand, none of the guys have been charged with sexual assault so I get why the victim would be upset about that. Plus the university spent almost $100,000 to investigate the issue and none of the investigators met with her or the RA who witnessed the phone conversation. That would be frustrating and it does stink of cover up. 

All of the guys are gone from the campus but this still could lead to additional investigations. I also don't remember ever hearing that David Anwar was potentially involved before last night's report which is concerning. If I were New Mexico State, I'd start asking him some tough questions. 

The WFAA report was misleading (intentionally IMO). If you got the emails and communications from the University when they launched and completed the law firm review, the law firm the University retained was only to review the climate and culture of the men's basketball program. Basically to make sure that the MBB staff and University personnel weren't creating a climate where this was common. They had nothing to do with the criminal investigation. The law firm would have interviewed student-athletes, general students, coaches and staff to assess the day to day climate. In fact, it would have been inappropriate for them to get involved in the criminal investigation. The police did the criminal investigation and according to the response tweeted from the University they spoke to all cooperating witnesses and followed up on all leads. So the girl in the WFAA report either didn't cooperate or the police/DA/grand jury didn't have any evidence to charge them. Unfortunate deal all the way around but this feels like sensational reporting to create website hits. Even to the fact that the WFAA report is very careful to not point out things like all the players had been dismissed before they were charged, all the coaches were gone, etc. If you just glance at the report, it's made to seem like this is recent involving current employees and student-athletes.

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6 hours ago, letsgiveacheer said:

Did these incidents take place off campus? If so, why were the UNT police, and not the Denton force, investigating this in the first place?  If a "normal" UNT student did something illegal off campus, who would handle this, the UNT police or Denton's department?

This would have clearly been Denton PD jurisdiction if they wanted it. Something must have happened there. The University response said they two chiefs discussed and agreed UNT should take the lead. 

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4 hours ago, meangreenlax said:

As we hear more about these events, I'm starting to question why universities retain their own police departments for this level of crime. Yes they're accredited and fully sworn to the same standards as municipal/county/state peace officers. However everything they do in high profile cases comes off as tainted by the bureaucracy of the school. Whether that is right or wrong, it seems like it casts a shadow on every investigation we hear about. 

I tend to kind of agree. My guess is UNT PD has full autonomy to investigate but just the fact that it's the University's police department will create concern.

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5 minutes ago, meangreenJW said:

The WFAA report was misleading (intentionally IMO). If you got the emails and communications from the University when they launched and completed the law firm review, the law firm the University retained was only to review the climate and culture of the men's basketball program. Basically to make sure that the MBB staff and University personnel weren't creating a climate where this was common. They had nothing to do with the criminal investigation. The law firm would have interviewed student-athletes, general students, coaches and staff to assess the day to day climate. In fact, it would have been inappropriate for them to get involved in the criminal investigation. The police did the criminal investigation and according to the response tweeted from the University they spoke to all cooperating witnesses and followed up on all leads. So the girl in the WFAA report either didn't cooperate or the police/DA/grand jury didn't have any evidence to charge them. Unfortunate deal all the way around but this feels like sensational reporting to create website hits. Even to the fact that the WFAA report is very careful to not point out things like all the players had been dismissed before they were charged, all the coaches were gone, etc. If you just glance at the report, it's made to seem like this is recent involving current employees and student-athletes.

I reread the report. It's posted on the WFAA website. It was really clear why the review didn't talk to victims or the accused.

Methodology:

The findings and observations described in this report are based primarily upon information reported during interviews of approximately 50 individuals (current and former student-athletes and coaches, current and former athletics department staff members, and University staff from various campus departments) and a review of those University, athletics department and/or basketball team policies in place to promote and enforce the University’s expectations of student conduct. Additional documentation, including men’s basketball rosters, University disciplinary files, and athletics compliance records, also was examined and relied upon during the review. It should be noted that after consulting with UNTPD at the outset of the external review, we did not pursue interviews of the two former student-athletes and the former student manager so as not to interfere or be perceived to interfere with the ongoing law enforcement investigation.

Findings:
 At the conclusion of the external review, two important findings were clear:
1. The external review did not identify any “red flags” or other indicators that
individuals outside of those involved in the alleged criminal events were aware of the activity; and

2.The men’s basketball program under the prior coaching regime did not create, encourage, condone, nor appear to tolerate the type of behavior that was the subject of the recent arrests.

 

 

Seems self explanatory. The reporter just chose to ignore it. Report can be read at https://www.scribd.com/document/393320868/UNT-Men-s-Basketball-Program-External-Review-Report-00238953xC146B

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4 hours ago, UNTLifer said:

Who were the players, etc involved and what ever happened to all of them?

It was published at the time but it was Rickey Brice and Derail Green and a manager named Brian Johnson. Derail was finished at the conclusion of the season. McCasland had not retained Brice or Johnson. 

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15 hours ago, emmitt01 said:

As a current police chief, someone who has worked with college police extensively, and as someone who has worked as an investigator in a department the size of Dallas, allow me to weigh in on this question alone.  I am not making any judgement on the actual handling of the investigation, just the appropriateness of jurisdiction.  

First, the UNT police department is not a small outfit.  There are 65 full time employees, with the majority being sworn officers (the rest being dispatch and civilian personnel).  UNT officers attend the same training and have the same licensing standards as “city cops.”  

Second, the jurisdiction of a university police department is their campus, within the city they reside in, and any county where the university has buildings.  To give you a non- UNT example, pretty much any place you step within Dallas is the jurisdiction of the Dallas County Community College police because their buildings are everywhere in the area.  This is in place because criminals (and therefore investigations) don’t restrict themselves to the physical grounds of the school.  Imagine for a moment if a fraternity hosted an event at a house 3 miles off campus and something happened. It would make no sense to have a University administrative investigation that could not go hand in hand with a police investigation by the Universtity’s PD.  Now the campus police could defer to the city police (as it appears was discussed in the basketball players situation) but it is not mandatory.  

The reason, I assume, that people would want to see a situation involving UNT basketball players handled by Denton Police is to avoid the appearance of impropriety.  And I assume this has to do with the perception that campus police are subject to the influence of the university president, BOR, or the campus budget.  On this point I would agree that giving up jurisdiction is a good choice...but only for the optics of it, not because of inability of campus PD to do the investigation properly (again, it appears Denton PD was consulted and deferred).  Also, bear in mind that in a situation like this the detectives of a campus PD can devote the entirety of their attention to this one case...sometimes with the larger entity, not so much.  

Finally, and again I cannot say this definitively without viewing the investigation,  sexual assault investigations are not always as cut and dry as they are made to seem.  If the physical evidence, victim’s account, witness statements, presence or absence of alcohol, etc are even questionable there may not be enough for a slam dunk criminal charge.  Referring matters to a grand jury (as it appears was done here) to let them hear all that you have and make a determination is not uncommon.  

Please understand that, again, I am not admonishing or validating the work of UNT PD here.  Just trying to offer a bit of perspective to show that campus police are not inherently unqualified or out of their lane to undertake an investigation like this.  

Makes a lot of sense now. One of the bigger boosters at UNT told me UNT initially referred the crime to the Denton PD sex crimes unit. Denton indicated they would get to it but had more pressing issues and would just as soon prefer UNT keep the case. My guess is UNT PD didn't want to risk it being delayed or falling through the cracks. In all reality, I have no issue with UNT PD investigating based upon what you said. However, I still see how the appearance isn't great to the general public.

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3 hours ago, greenminer said:

 

I read the report and don't see how this person came to those conclusions.

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21 hours ago, greenminer said:

 

I'm trying to wrap my head around the accusation regarding UNT officials. Maybe I'm missing something.

So on the heels of the Baylor controversy, with a magnifying glass on sexual assault (especially among colleges)...we're to believe that UNT officials got a complaint and in order to protect the basketball program (led by 62-95 Tony Benford) they led a cover up and tried to sweep this under the rug....

The question in the tweet above is actually a good one. Why would they do that? What possible good could come out of that for UNT? What would the motivation be to take the risk of a cover up and hang this victim out to dry? What's the upside?

To keep this under wraps so our losing basketball program doesn't get hurt? 

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2 hours ago, TheColonyEagle said:

The question in the tweet above is actually a good one. Why would they do that? What possible good could come out of that for UNT? What would the motivation be to take the risk of a cover up and hang this victim out to dry? What's the upside?

To keep this under wraps so our losing basketball program doesn't get hurt? 

One can really wonder, particularly in a lost season, as was the one when this happened. I mean everybody could see the writing on the wall, that this coaching staff (and most players with it) would be gone a few months later anyway. No reason to protect anybody from scrutiny on the admin side. That said, If I understood correctly the police did not immediately do a rape-kit. Why that is, is somewhat baffling to me. I however do not think that this points to a cover-up problem, but it does pose the question of incompetence or negligence, which is serious too.

I do however to some degree wonder if this happened partially because players and coaches also knew that season was a lost situation on which everyone had given up, so some with the least moral resources gave in to their worst character traits. The other part of me thinks that Benford just did not have a good grasp of the character of the folks he hired and recruited or of how to establish a culture of accountability that would improve their character or at least keep bad traits in check. I think that was his primary problem to begin with, and also caused part of his on-the-court problems. In any case, I still wish WB had not "evaluated" so long, and cut bait earlier.

Edited by outoftown
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36 minutes ago, outoftown said:

One can really wonder, particularly in a lost season, as was the one when this happened. I mean everybody could see the writing on the wall, that this coaching staff (and most players with it) would be gone a few months later anyway. No reason to protect anybody from scrutiny on the admin side. That said, If I understood correctly the police did not immediately do a rape-kit. Why that is, is somewhat baffling to me. I however do not think that this points to a cover-up problem, but it does pose the question of incompetence or neglicence.

I do however to some degree wonder if this happened partially because players and coaches also knew that season was a lost situation on which everyone had given up, so some with the least moral resources gave in to their worst character traits. The other part of me thinks that Benford just did not have a good grasp of the character of the folks he hired and recruited or of how to establish a culture of accountability that would improve their character or at least keep bad traits in check. I think that was his primary problem to begin with, and also caused part of his on-the-court problems. In any case, I still wish WB had not "evaluated" so long, and cut bait earlier.

 I think most of this may be more a question or negligence and not a blatant cover up but I do wish they'd made the information about Coach Anwar public at the time. His current employer might wish that too. I think the coaches were actually already all fired by the time the accusations were made. 

The only positive to WB taking the year to evaluate the basketball program is that we got Coach McCasland. If we'd been looking earlier, he may not have been available or on the radar. Other than that reason, I definitely wish we'd cut bait much earlier. 

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1 hour ago, Mrs. Esterhouse said:

 I think most of this may be more a question or negligence and not a blatant cover up but I do wish they'd made the information about Coach Anwar public at the time. His current employer might wish that too. I think the coaches were actually already all fired by the time the accusations were made. 

The only positive to WB taking the year to evaluate the basketball program is that we got Coach McCasland. If we'd been looking earlier, he may not have been available or on the radar. Other than that reason, I definitely wish we'd cut bait much earlier. 

It is just as likely that the story was driven by a lawyer, as it came out with little substance over a year later. This actually happens more often than you'd think, and it gives the appearance that the school is hiding something because they are not actually allowed to talk about the student.

This is an unfortunate situation all around, but with out hearing the other side of things you are just speculating here.

Edited by xyresic
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17 minutes ago, xyresic said:

It is just as likely that the story was driven by a lawyer, as it came out with little substance over a year later. This actually happens more often than you'd think, and it gives the appearance that the school is hiding something because they are not actually allowed to talk about the student.

This is an unfortunate situation all around, but with out hearing the other side of things you are just speculating here.

It's not speculation that Coach Anwar's potential involvement wasn't mentioned by the school or any of the news stories before last week's WFAA story, almost two years later. He was already fired when the story originally broke so who knows why it wasn't public information before now. 

 

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8 hours ago, TheColonyEagle said:

I'm trying to wrap my head around the accusation regarding UNT officials. Maybe I'm missing something.

So on the heels of the Baylor controversy, with a magnifying glass on sexual assault (especially among colleges)...we're to believe that UNT officials got a complaint and in order to protect the basketball program (led by 62-95 Tony Benford) they led a cover up and tried to sweep this under the rug....

The question in the tweet above is actually a good one. Why would they do that? What possible good could come out of that for UNT? What would the motivation be to take the risk of a cover up and hang this victim out to dry? What's the upside?

To keep this under wraps so our losing basketball program doesn't get hurt? 

Exactly. Why would anyone that Smatresk, the police chief, Title IX, etc. would risk their jobs to protect players/manager who were gone, a new coach and a pretty much new AD. No one had anything to gain. Am I missing something?

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7 hours ago, outoftown said:

One can really wonder, particularly in a lost season, as was the one when this happened. I mean everybody could see the writing on the wall, that this coaching staff (and most players with it) would be gone a few months later anyway. No reason to protect anybody from scrutiny on the admin side. That said, If I understood correctly the police did not immediately do a rape-kit. Why that is, is somewhat baffling to me. I however do not think that this points to a cover-up problem, but it does pose the question of incompetence or negligence, which is serious too.

I do however to some degree wonder if this happened partially because players and coaches also knew that season was a lost situation on which everyone had given up, so some with the least moral resources gave in to their worst character traits. The other part of me thinks that Benford just did not have a good grasp of the character of the folks he hired and recruited or of how to establish a culture of accountability that would improve their character or at least keep bad traits in check. I think that was his primary problem to begin with, and also caused part of his on-the-court problems. In any case, I still wish WB had not "evaluated" so long, and cut bait earlier.

I get what you're saying but IMO dismissing Tony midseason would have done nothing to prevent this. One coulrd argue, there might have been more of this stuff with instability in the staff. Baker started in August. Next to impossible to do a coaching search when school has started and coaches are committed to their players at other institutions. Dismissing Tony midseason so that what Anwar could coach them? Rob Evans who looked about 5 years past ready to retire. The team finished the season on Saturday. WB dismissed Tony on Sunday. The evaluation was done weeks/months before. But what purpose would be served by firing Tony midseason. At the time people argued to show losing wasn't acceptable. That would do nothing to prevent this.

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9 hours ago, TheColonyEagle said:

I'm trying to wrap my head around the accusation regarding UNT officials. Maybe I'm missing something.

So on the heels of the Baylor controversy, with a magnifying glass on sexual assault (especially among colleges)...we're to believe that UNT officials got a complaint and in order to protect the basketball program (led by 62-95 Tony Benford) they led a cover up and tried to sweep this under the rug....

The question in the tweet above is actually a good one. Why would they do that? What possible good could come out of that for UNT? What would the motivation be to take the risk of a cover up and hang this victim out to dry? What's the upside?

To keep this under wraps so our losing basketball program doesn't get hurt? 

One other thought. It would have been in everyone's interest to get to the bottom of all issues which is why I presume Smatresk and Baker had review done. Biggest concern would have been something resurfacing and causing problems once McCasland had program going. I just can't see any upside here to trying to protect anyone.

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12 minutes ago, meangreenJW said:

I get what you're saying but IMO dismissing Tony midseason would have done nothing to prevent this. One coulrd argue, there might have been more of this stuff with instability in the staff. Baker started in August. Next to impossible to do a coaching search when school has started and coaches are committed to their players at other institutions. Dismissing Tony midseason so that what Anwar could coach them? Rob Evans who looked about 5 years past ready to retire. The team finished the season on Saturday. WB dismissed Tony on Sunday. The evaluation was done weeks/months before. But what purpose would be served by firing Tony midseason. At the time people argued to show losing wasn't acceptable. That would do nothing to prevent this.

I was not thinking to do this to get a jump on the search, nor to can him before the season, but rather to get an interim who has something to prove, who can use half a season as an audition. By mid-season we all knew where this season was going. More importantly it should have been done to see if you can inject a little energy into the program, a little belief that the players are not there seeing out the end of a foregone conclusion, lost boys without a reason to believe in anyone, but rather the start of something new or failing that, something of the players own. An interim has something to prove if you choose the right guy. I think energy would have helped, not just on the court, but also off. Not making the change that everybody knew was coming anyway, was sucking out the energy and gave nobody a reason to fight for anything. Obviously knowing what we do now, Anwar being the interim would have been worst case. It says a lot about the tenure, that the options for interim were that slim.

Edited by outoftown

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6 hours ago, Mrs. Esterhouse said:

It's not speculation that Coach Anwar's potential involvement wasn't mentioned by the school or any of the news stories before last week's WFAA story, almost two years later. He was already fired when the story originally broke so who knows why it wasn't public information before now. 

 

Let us assume, for a moment, he had nothing to do with it and the police and university had already researched that. What good comes from mentioning "he was potentially involved"?

Edited by MeanMag

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