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Basketball Coach Helps Prompt NCAA Investigation

The Associated Press

An eastern Idaho newspaper is reporting that an NCAA investigation at Idaho State University was prompted at least in part by a letter written by a former interim men's basketball coach warning of a booster willing to pay quality basketball players money to get them to the school.

The Idaho State Journal reports that former interim coach Deane Martin sent the letter to Athletic Director Jeff Tingey on March 6, a day after Martin was told he didn't get picked as the permanent men's basketball coach.

The newspaper obtained the letter from a university employee. Martin writes that a booster told him "in the presence of another witness, that he wanted to insure that ISU got the best recruit we could, and he offered his support. Specifically (the booster) indicated that if it took a 'money handshake' from him to a coach or a recruit, to seal the deal, he was happy to do that."

Martin also wrote that the booster "has personally involved himself with the families of potential recruits, and made similar offers to them. He also has made those offers to junior college coaches, that it would be in their best financial interest to steer their players to Idaho State University."

The newspaper also obtained Tingey's emailed response to Martin: "As these are very strong and potentially slanderous statements, I am going to forward them to our university attorneys for their involvement."

Tingey also wrote that "so that the NCAA does not think we will 'sweep this under the rug' I will have our compliance office contact them."

After receiving Tingey's response, Martin sent the letter to the NCAA. Martin, Tingey and the NCAA declined to comment.


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