USC and Washington are investigating whether a football coach who worked under Steve Sarkisian at Washington violated NCAA rules by paying for private tutoring and online classes for a recruit.
The allegations surround the recruitment of Andrew Basham, a former defensive lineman at Lynnwood High in Washington, who signed a letter of intent with the Huskies last February but did not qualify academically to enroll.
Mike Davis, a throwing coach who helped Basham win a state shotput title, told The Times that Tosh Lupoi, Washington's defensive line coach, gave him $3,000 to cover private tutoring for Basham through a test preparation company. Davis said he also received $1,500 from Lupoi to reimburse Basham's father for online classes Andrew could use to raise his grade-point average.
NCAA rules prohibit universities from paying for a prospect's academic services. Head coaches are required to "promote an atmosphere of compliance" and are held responsible for the actions of assistant coaches and administrators who report, directly or indirectly, to them.
Lupoi did not return phone calls seeking interview requests for this story. Informed by text message that there were allegations he delivered cash on at least two occasions to a go-between to reimburse expenses for tutoring and online classes for Basham, Lupoi said in a text, "Well that's certainly false. I deny such allegations of violating NCAA rules w/ the recruitment of Andrew Basham."
Somewhere Jeff Tedford - under-appreciated offensive genius - is LHAO.
Tosh is currently on the Huskies payroll but there are indications that he is gearing up to join Sarkisian's staff at Southern Cal (reportedly contacting recruits while talking up the Trojans.)
Given that the Trojans are still under NCAA sanctions and (ethical) Pat Haden has talked a big game about playing by the rules, it will be interesting to see whether Haden will now let Sark bring in Tosh into the program under a cloud of NCAA investigations. Of course they are Trojans - so cheating is in their DNA. So it won't be a surprise if Haden is desperate enough to look the other way.
But at this point, Haden may also suck it up to and keep Tosh away from Heritage Hall until the Trojans have fully paid the price for all the cheating from Pom Pom era. We will see how this plays out.