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UO’s Jim O’Fallon and UConn’s Nate Miles

3/8/2013: Back in 2009 the NCAA Committee on Infractions, which includes UO’s Faculty Athletics representative and former Knight law professor Jim O’Fallon, ruled that UConn had paid impermissible benefits to a basketball player, Nate Miles:

NCAA enforcer Jim O’Fallon NCAA player Nate Miles

INDIANAPOLIS — The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions has penalized the University of Connecticut for violations in its men’s basketball program…. As stated in the committee’s public infractions report, this case centers on the “extraordinary steps” taken by the university to recruit a top prospective student-athlete to its men’s basketball program. … Specifically, the booster provided the prospect with impermissible inducements, including the payment of at least a portion of the expenses for the young man’s foot surgery; … The members of the Committee on Infractions who reviewed this case include … James O’Fallon, law professor and faculty athletics representative for University of Oregon. 

From the official report:

What’s the problem? Well, the federal health privacy law HIPAA prevents the release of medical records, including billing records, without the patient’s consent. According to CBS, the NCAA may have obtained the records illegally, and then O’Fallon’s committee used the illegally obtained records to punish UConn:

Miles told CBSSports.com he authorized neither the Tampa Bone and Joint Center nor the NCAA to discuss his medical condition. 

“I didn’t authorize anybody,” he said. 

“I never told anybody to share anything,” Miles said in a later interview. “I just couldn’t believe they did. I thought they couldn’t. I lost everything.”

Yes, we wouldn’t want to let universities or their boosters pay for foot surgery – let that go unchecked and it could take a serious cut out of the NCAA’s take. In 2011, the NYT reported on what eventually became of Miles:

The former University of Connecticut basketball recruit Nate Miles is effectively homeless. He moves from friend’s couch to friend’s couch, still recovering from a violent assault that left him with a stab wound and a punctured lung and a monthlong stay in the hospital. 

O’Fallon, on the other hand, is doing quite well in his 24th year as FAR without faculty review, pulling down $93K and free junkets to the games, with a sweet half time job in President Gottfredson’s office. And PERS, and a law school job to fall back on. Which is nice:

Thanks to http://brewonsouthu.wordpress.com/ for the CBS link.

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