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Miami receives notice of allegations

Wednesday - 2/20/2013, 2:12pm  ET

Missouri head coach Frank Haith encourages his team during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Florida on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, in Columbia, Mo. Missouri won the game 63-60. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

TIM REYNOLDS
AP Sports Writer

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) -- After two years of digging, the NCAA hit Miami with the four words that no school wants to hear: "Lack of institutional control."

And now, the Hurricanes have 90 days to prepare their rebuttal -- or harsh penalties might await.

With Miami President Donna Shalala firing back at the governing body of college athletics for the second time in as many days, the Hurricanes got their long-awaited notice of allegations on Tuesday, the worst charge being that the school failed to monitor conduct of a rogue booster who provided cash, gifts and other items to players on the football and men's basketball teams.

"We deeply regret any violations," Shalala wrote in the university's response, "but we have suffered enough."

The NCAA did not comment Tuesday, one day after it revealed it was erasing some elements of its case against Miami because the information was obtained through an alliance forged with Maria Elena Perez, the attorney for former booster and convicted felon Nevin Shapiro, whose claims are at the center of this scandal.

The institutional-control charge is typically one of the most severe the NCAA can bring after an investigation of rules violations. A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press about the lack of institutional control charge, and that some former members of Miami coaching staffs were named in the notice of allegations, including Missouri basketball coach Frank Haith, who was with the Hurricanes from 2004-11.

After his team beat No. 5 Florida on Tuesday night, Haith confirmed that he received the notice of allegation.

"There was no unethical conduct in my notice of allegation," Haith said. "And it is just an allegation, so we get a chance to defend ourselves."

Haith is alleged of failing "to promote an atmosphere for compliance," a charge specific to how he handled things when Shapiro allegedly wanted money in exchange for not going public with accusations that he paid to help the Hurricanes recruit a player.

Next up: The sanctions phase, where Miami's penalties will be decided. The Hurricanes already have self-imposed several sanctions, including sitting out two bowl games and a conference football championship game. Shalala said Monday -- when she first lashed out at the botched NCAA probe -- that she believes those punishments should be enough, and reiterated the same Tuesday.

"Many of the charges brought forth are based on the word of a man who made a fortune by lying," Shalala wrote. "The NCAA enforcement staff acknowledged to the University that if Nevin Shapiro, a convicted con man, said something more than once, it considered the allegation 'corroborated' -- an argument which is both ludicrous and counter to legal practice."

There's no shortage of possible penalties that Miami may still face. Some examples: Wins can be purged from the record books, scholarships may be reduced, more bowl games may be missed and limits could be placed on games being televised.

It's also possible that no further penalties would be assessed.

Miami told the NCAA in September 2010 that Shapiro -- serving a 20-year prison term for masterminding a $930 million Ponzi scheme -- made allegations to the school against former players.

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