The Los Angeles Times tonight published a lengthy report about Washington defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi, who is being investigated by USC and UW for allegedly paying $3,000 for private tutoring through a test preparation company for Andrew Basham, a Lynnwood native, who signed with the Huskies in 2013 before being ruled academically ineligible.
According to the Times, Lupoi paid Mike Davis, Basham’s throwing coach on the track team at Lynnwood, not only for the tutoring, but an additional $1,500 for online classes intended to boost Basham’s grade-point average.
In the story, Lupoi denies wrongdoing.
A UW spokesperson confirmed the school is investigating the allegations.
USC’s compliance office apparently learned of the potential violation last week, though USC reportedly “found no evidence” to conclude that new coach Steve Sarkisian had any knowledge of the alleged payments.
Lupoi now has a “less than zero” chance of being hired by USC, according to a source quoted in the story.
UW has not confirmed or released any information about any investigation, but a UW official is quoted in the story:
Shondell Reed, a senior associate athletic director at Washington who oversees compliance, said Lupoi informed him last Friday that The Times was about to publish an article about allegations regarding Basham’s recruitment. Reed then alerted the Pac-12 Conference office and was told that USC had received a tip and was investigating.
In a phone interview, Reed said that he did not know the specifics of the allegations but that Lupoi “denies any wrongdoing or violations of NCAA rules. He said he doesn’t know why he would be accused of this and vehemently denies doing anything wrong.”
Davis and his wife, Heidi, have been contacted by Washington’s compliance office and he said he is scheduled to meet with officials from Washington and USC in Seattle on Friday.
The story contains many other details of Lupoi’s interaction with Davis. It is worth reading.
If the allegations are true, Lupoi’s employment with UW could be in jeopardy. It was already a bit of an unknown whether Lupoi would follow Sarkisian to USC, or whether new UW coach Chris Petersen would want to retain him on staff at UW.
Lupoi’s contract doesn’t expire until Feb. 6, 2015, but if the school determines that he has breached the terms of that agreement, he can be terminated with cause. That would mean no buyout, which he would otherwise receive if Petersen simply decided he didn’t want to keep him around.
As with most coaching contracts, Lupoi’s states that he can be terminated with cause for, among other things, “significant or repetitive violations of NCAA rules.”
Impossible to tell yet if this is significant, repetitive, or nothing at all. Interim coach Marques Tuiasosopo is scheduled to speak with reporters tomorrow morning, though he isn’t likely to comment much, if at all, on this report.