After UCLA and Under Armour held their Bruins at the Beach event on Saturday, October 7th, Eric Sondheimer of the LA Times wrote:
UCLA basketball Coach Steve Alford said Saturday no one from his program has been contacted by the FBI or the Department of Justice regarding the ongoing bribery and corruption investigation involving college basketball coaches, players and officials.
“That’s not happened,” he said. “Obviously it’s something you don’t like seeing in our game. It’s not all programs. I know how we’re doing things.”
A few days later, the Daily Kansan, the student newspaper at the University of Kansas, published a story about the FBI denying their request for the release of “all documents and communications within this investigation related to the University of Kansas and any of its sponsorship deals with Adidas or any investigation of Kansas basketball coaches.”
The key thing about this was that the FBI’s letter inadvertently seemed to acknowledge the existence of such records. Of course, the document(s) obtained by the FBI could have been something as basic and innocent as Kansas’ apparel contract with adidas or something more incriminating.
After reading that story, I made a similar FOIA request. The BruinsNation FOIA request requested “all documents and communications obtained by the FBI or DOJ during the investigation of bribery, fraud and corruption in college basketball related to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and any of its sponsorship deals with Adidas or Under Armour and/or any investigation of basketball coaches currently or formerly employed by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).”
In the meantime, the Daily Kansan received a second response to their request. The FBI’s second response said that they had received their first response was “forwarded in error.”
In the second letter, the FBI refused to confirm or deny the existence of such records.
That brings us to this morning.
This morning, BruinsNation received a response to our FOIA request. The response appears to be identical to the second response received by the Daily Kansan. Take a look for yourself.
So, what does all of this mean?
It means that no one except those associated with the investigation knows where it’s going and what other schools may be affected by it and that Bruin fans will need to continue hoping that the program is as clean as Steve Alford said it is when he told Sondheimer:
The only thing I did was when it started hitting met with my staff and I thanked them. I sleep well at night. It doesn’t mean everybody is perfect and it doesn’t mean everybody is going to do the right thing all the time. The three guys on the road with me I hired for a reason of who they are and how I want things done.
Will Steve Alford continue to sleep well at night? Only time will tell, but, until the investigation is closed by the FBI, it would be prudent for Bruin fans to remain concerned that the investigation could land on UCLA’s doorstep.
Why? Mostly because no one knows what direction the investigation is taking or which school is going to be affected next.