The NCAA will not penalize the Washington football program or former UW assistant coach Tosh Lupoi after concluding its investigation Monday into allegations that Lupoi had paid $4,500 for a Lynnwood recruit’s tutoring last year.
In a letter delivered to UW President Michael Young, the NCAA’s director of enforcement, Tom Hosty, stopped short of clearing Lupoi or UW of wrongdoing but after a six-week investigation noted that “the enforcement staff does not believe that further action is warranted.”
“However,” Hosty continued in the letter, “if additional information is developed, the staff reserves the right to look further into these matters.”
Lupoi was not retained as part of new UW coach Chris Petersen’s staff. Last month, UW and Lupoi agreed to a mutual separation that paid Lupoi $300,000.
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Lupoi could not be reached for comment, but he did release a statement on Twitter Monday evening, which read in part: “I stated from the beginning that an honest and thorough investigation would clear my name, and prove these attacks against me were untrue. The results speak for themselves.”
In December, Mike Davis, a former Lynnwood High School assistant track and field coach, alleged that Lupoi last year gave him two cash payments for tutoring services and online classes for former Lynnwood High School defensive lineman Andrew Basham. The first $3,000, Davis said, Lupoi gave him in a brown paper bag at the Northgate Ram Restaurant & Brewery; the other $1,500 was tucked into a white coffee cup at the UW football offices last May, Davis claimed.
Basham signed with UW in February 2013 but did not qualify to enroll. Basham’s mother, Cindy Powers, told The Seattle Times on Monday that Basham’s father had used a credit card to pay for his son’s tutoring.
“I’m just glad it’s finally over,” Powers said. “Andrew didn’t deserve to be dragged through the mud. … We really like Tosh, and he didn’t deserve it, either.”
Neither Basham nor his mother met with NCAA investigators.
Davis, a former football player at Kansas State who spent one season on the Green Bay Packers’ roster, said he met for three hours with a UW attorney and two NCAA investigators in Seattle on Dec. 20, two days after the allegations first surfaced in a Los Angeles Times report. Davis said he provided bank records and offered to take a lie-detector test. His wife, Heidi, met with the same investigators for two hours. Her daughter later met with the NCAA, too.
Monday, Heidi Monroe-Davis stood by their version of the events. She said she was “disappointed” in the NCAA’s conclusion.
“We never, ever wished ill-will toward Tosh,” she said. “ … We’re die-hard Husky fans. There was no agenda on our part.”
Davis has contended that he was simply trying to help Basham get into UW. And when he was approached by a Los Angeles Times reporter in December with details of his connections to Lupoi, Davis said he didn’t want to lie. Davis said that another local high school track coach was the one who tipped off The Los Angeles Times.
On Dec. 19, The Seattle Times made a public records request to UW for Lupoi’s phone and email records. UW has said it will make those available on Feb. 19.
Lupoi, a former player and assistant coach at California, was named the Rivals Recruiter of the Year in 2010. He joined Steve Sarkisian’s UW staff as defensive-line coach in January 2012, and his salary of $350,000 last year made him one of the conference’s 10 highest-paid assistant coaches.
Adam Jude: 206-464-2364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.