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Frank Haith ruined the SEC Tournament (and Mizzou Basketball)


Wednesday night at the SEC Tournament is when the SEC Tournament is at its best. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. The tournament’s first night is a must-see event each March, regardless of what attendance numbers and those 12/13 and 11/14 match-ups suggest. It’s infinitely better than Saturday’s semifinals or Championship Sunday. If you’ve never been, you will just have to take my word for it until you can cough up the five dollars for a general admission ticket to experience it for yourself.

However, this year’s opening session in Nashville has been robbed of half of its glory, thanks to former Missouri head coach Frank Haith. Haith got the Mizzou basketball program into a ton of trouble, and his reckless behavior threw off the whole 2016 bracket.

Thanks to Haith and his NCAA violations, Mizzou will sit out this year’s tournament, limiting Wednesday night to only one bottom-tier SEC basketball game. That means I only have half the time to drink Diet Dr. Pepper, eat Golden Flake potato chips, own the Dance Cam in a completely empty courtside section, and yell at Barry Booker and Dari Nowkhah on the SEC Network set.

And for that, I loathe you, Frank Haith. That afternoon you bonded with KSR while walking aimlessly around the Peach Jam hotel, looking for the elevators — it means nothing now. You’re dead to us. It’s like we never walked that hideous, smoke-stained North Augusta Marriott carpet together.

But me, I’ll be fine. I’ll use the additional Wednesday night free time to wander the watering holes of Broadway, unsuccessfully attempting to strike conversations with each new bachelorette party along the way. The rest of the KSR gang will be fine, too. I’m sure they will be right beside me, introducing themselves as Slim Whitman and Boots Randolph, as they always do.

It’s Missouri we’re worried about. Haith began violating the NCAA’s bylaws the moment he stepped on campus in 2011, and when word spread that trouble was coming, he packed up his oversized suits and bolted for Tulsa before the proverbial doo-doo hit the proverbial fan.

Now, with Haith gone and Mizzou great Kim Anderson filling his seat on the bench, the program has self-imposed a postseason ban for the current season, as well as several other self-imposed penalties.

Here is the entire list of actions, courtesy of

— Restitution and withholding from competition for impermissible benefits received by student-athletes was imposed as necessary.

— The former associate head men’s basketball coach was prohibited from off-campus recruiting for a period of three months while the review process was underway.

— The university permanently disassociated Representative #1, prohibiting him from receiving tickets, making donations or otherwise representing the university.

— The university disassociated Representative #2 for a period of two years, prohibiting him from receiving tickets, making donations or otherwise representing the university.

— The university vacated all wins from the 2013-14 season.

— The university will pay the NCAA a fine in the prescribed amount of $5,000.

— The university self-imposed the loss of one men’s basketball scholarship in 2015-16 and an additional scholarship loss to be incurred no later than the 2017-18 season.

— The university placed restrictions on the recruiting activities of the men’s basketball staff during the years of 2014-15 through 2016-17.

— The university imposed a one-year postseason ban for the 2015-16 men’s basketball season, which prohibits the team from participating in the 2016 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament, and any other postseason competition sanctioned by the NCAA. As such, the university will not receive any revenues from the 2016 SEC or NCAA men’s basketball tournaments.

Meanwhile, Haith is enjoying life at the foothills of the Ozark Mountains in northeast Oklahoma, coaching a brand new team with no repercussions from his time at Missouri, a job he held for three years and quit via text message to the athletic director. He is collecting $1.3 million annually to, likely, drive another program into the ground, while poor Kim Anderson faces the impossible task of rebuilding from Haith’s cheating ways.

It’s not the first time Haith pulled this stunt, either. Oh no. Haith was caught up in a scandal with the notorious Nevin Shapiro down at Miami, when he coached the Hurricanes from 2004 to 2011. He served a five-game suspension at Missouri for infractions he committed at The U, which makes him 2-for-2 at cheating as a head college basketball coach.

Haith supporters, if any of those exist, will be quick to tell you he was cleared of any wrongdoing in the findings at Missouri, which is true. But I’m not buying it. Haith’s a dirty player in my eyes, supported by the mess he quickly left behind for others to clean up, at two different jobs.

So when your University of Kentucky Wildcats host the wounded Tigers tomorrow night in the 9 pm ESPN game, have a little sympathy for Kim Anderson and his struggling squad. They didn’t ask for this.

And when the SEC Tournament rolls around and only one game is played in the first session, have a little sympathy for those of us who look forward to that night each spring. We didn’t ask for this, nor did Barry Booker or Dari Nowkhah.

You hurt a lot of people, Frank.

You ruined the SEC Tournament and you ruined Missouri basketball.

Good luck with that, Tulsa.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

23 Comments for Frank Haith ruined the SEC Tournament (and Mizzou Basketball)

  1. BobKYCats
    8:59 pm January 26, 2016 Permalink

    Yeah, thanks Haith. I was hoping, after that great season Mizzou had in 2012, that they’d become another great rivalry for us for the foreseeable future. Not so much. Not right now, anyway.

  2. Jiminy Crickets
    11:34 pm January 26, 2016 Permalink

    I feel like I’m as big of a Kentucky fan as there is. However I think most fan bases would literally tell you that if you took this exact article, replace the names Haith with Calipari, Missouri with Memphis, and Tulsa with Kentucky, The article would still read the same. Coach left two schools on probation, left for greener pastures, and was never found guilty of any wrongdoing by the NCAA. I think as a UK fan base this is something we should probably keep our nose out of.

    • UK Big Board Update
      12:23 am January 27, 2016 Permalink

      Except you are completely wrong.

    • Seven Ate Nine
      12:48 am January 27, 2016 Permalink

      I thought the same thing. I know it is different because Haith was indicted and served a suspension while Cal has never been tied to it at all – the circumstances are different, and I’d be the first to argue that to another fan, but this is the way other fans view us and Cal. Even knowing what’s true and what’s not, it still felt somehow hypocritical reading this.

      Also, Big Board, when you want to rebut an argument, try actually rebutting the argument next time. Just condescendingly telling people they’re wrong is just immature.

    • UK Big Board Update
      7:29 am January 27, 2016 Permalink

      Eh, you’re right. Cal’s a big cheater. Oh well.

    • Seven Ate Nine
      7:36 am January 27, 2016 Permalink

      Is that what I said?

    • UK Big Board Update
      9:51 am January 27, 2016 Permalink

      Cal’s cases were that two players, on two separate occasions, were deemed ineligible by choices made by the student athletes, and not on his watch. One of which took place before he even stepped foot on campus. (Rose)

      The Haith/Missouri charges are that of blatant rule breaking, involving boosters and impermissible benefits. Providing payments and housing. Quite a list, if you read through it.

      But if you think they are the same thing, well, you’re obviously entitled to your opinion.

    • Irwin R. Fletcher
      4:30 pm January 27, 2016 Permalink

      Big Board, I believe that most agree with your assessment of the scenarios. However, J.Crickets was implying is that OTHER FAN BASES would say Cal did the same thing. In that, he is correct. OTHER FAN BASES say Cal did the same thing. Reading comprehension.

    • UK Big Board Update
      5:05 pm January 27, 2016 Permalink

      I think I was more referring to the part where he said “….it still felt somehow hypocritical reading this.”

      And comments 2, 5, 7, 10 and 13….

  3. msnthrop
    5:17 am January 27, 2016 Permalink

    “Haith supporters, if any of those exist, will be quick to tell you he was cleared of any wrongdoing in the findings at Missouri, which is true. But I’m not buying it.”

    Why? What is the source of your suspicion? Are there records from the investigation that you personally have perused and found some fault in? Do you know something about the investigators that makes you doubt their veracity?

  4. Long Dong Silver
    5:55 am January 27, 2016 Permalink

    To be honest, who cares about Missouri? I wish they had stayed in the Big 12.

  5. LoveMachine
    7:26 am January 27, 2016 Permalink

    I’m with Jiminy and Seven on this one. Although we can argue that the circumstances are different (and objectively, they are), this hits way too close to home. We should just leave this one alone and keep our mouths closed…

  6. UK Big Board Update
    7:31 am January 27, 2016 Permalink

    Drew is basically trolling you all, and I love it.

    “Let’s see who opens their mouths about Cal in 3…2….1…..”

  7. Great American
    7:59 am January 27, 2016 Permalink

    How does the old saying go? “Those that live in glass houses shouldn’t throw rocks”. Just saying Drew i wouldn’t have touched this one.

  8. Bobbum Man
    8:18 am January 27, 2016 Permalink

    Yeah I mean it’s hard for me to listen to you say he’s still guilty when he’s been cleared by the ncaa while defending cal because he was cleared by the ncaa. Different yes but I’m with these other people, should jus leave this be

  9. Mathlete
    8:20 am January 27, 2016 Permalink

    Haithers gonna Haith?

    (I hated myself as soon as I typed it, you’re all welcome)

  10. JusSayin
    9:00 am January 27, 2016 Permalink

    Couldnt you say this about us too?

  11. The Original WTF Guy
    9:02 am January 27, 2016 Permalink

    The SEC ruined the SEC tourney by moving it to Nashville making it that much harder for people to get tickets. Play it in a place that can accommodate the people who want to see it.

    • nybrasky
      9:25 am January 27, 2016 Permalink

      Disagree. Unless they’re going to hold it in New Orleans, which I’d be all for, Nashville is the best place to have it. Even if you can’t get in to the game, or don’t want to, the atmosphere around the arena is the best.

      The decision to have the 2018 tourney in St. Louis is turrible – just like having the Final Four return to Houston.

    • HunterGTS
      7:09 am January 28, 2016 Permalink

      I love Nashville, but I was disappointed when the SEC made Nashville the “permanent” home for the basketball tourney. I liked the rotation of host cities. But I also know that not everyone can go to New Orleans, Atlanta, or the like every year. Nashville makes the most sense though, especially for UK fans.

  12. Sentient Third Eye
    9:39 am January 27, 2016 Permalink

    In that picture, Haith is running like Alan Cutler is after him.

  13. Bluebloodtoo
    11:29 am January 27, 2016 Permalink

    Hmmm… leaving two schools in a row with NCAA investigations. Be careful how you judge Mr Haith, because the comparisons to Cal aren’t far behind…..

  14. UKfanman01
    10:32 pm January 27, 2016 Permalink

    He should’ve had fake classes for the players set up. Maybe he should’ve asked Mike Jdkeifhfbekslfudski to recruit during the no contact period because everyone knows he gets away with it. Even Poythress, and yes I’m talking about #22 Alex Poythress, admitted that jduxhdbduski illegally recruited him. As far as the Cal haters, just fyi, when Rose took his test Calipari nor any of his staff wouldn’t be allowed to know whether or not he was in there taking the test. Plus the NCAA so graciously ruled him eligible at the beginning of the season, only to wait until the end of the season to take it back. So the comparisons are pale IMO.