Source: Three former Miami coaches want NCAA case tossed

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Three former Miami assistant coaches filed a motion on Thursday with the NCAA asking that their infractions cases be dismissed because of the mistakes that governing body for college athletics made in their long investigation of the Hurricanes.

Former football assistant Aubrey Hill and former basketball assistants Jake Morton and Jorge Fernandez had their motion delivered to the NCAA's Committee on Infractions, according to a person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither side authorized the release of any information.

The motion, according to the person, says the three coaches believe the NCAA's alliance with the attorney for the former booster at the center of the Miami scandal has created a scenario where they cannot "get a fair and reasonable proceeding."

A conference call on the matter is scheduled for Friday with the NCAA.

"It's unprecedented that all this is happening, and happening this way," the person said.

The NCAA believes Hill and Fernandez provided them with misleading information during the probe into Miami athletics, and cited them as believed to be in violation with what's known as Rule 10.1 — the broad one governing ethical conduct. Morton was also cited in the case against the Hurricanes, after the NCAA said he, among other things, accepted "supplemental income" of at least $6,000 from the former booster, Nevin Shapiro.

Miami received its notice of allegations from the NCAA on Tuesday. In that letter, the NCAA said the Hurricanes had a "lack of institutional control" for the way they failed to monitor Shapiro, a convicted felon who provided cash, gifts and other items to players on the football and men's basketball teams over a span of about eight years.

Shapiro is currently serving a 20-year prison term for masterminding a $930 million Ponzi scheme.

It's unknown when the committee will decide anything related to the motion. The NCAA has told other coaches named in the notice of allegations, including Missouri basketball coach Frank Haith, that responses to the letter are due by May 20.

The case that will be presented on behalf of Hill, Morton and Fernandez is also expected to include the assertion that since the NCAA cooperated with Shapiro attorney Maria Elena Perez — who deposed two witnesses that the NCAA wanted to hear from as part of her client's bankruptcy case and used subpoena power to do so, a tool the association does not have in its arsenal — that fraud was also perpetrated on the bankruptcy court.

The news of the motion was just one part of yet another busy day as it relates to the Miami-NCAA saga, which almost seemed to be dragging along for the better part of two years before this wild week filled with acknowledgements of wrongdoing by investigators, the delivery of the actual charges, two extremely sharp-tongued statements issued by University President Donna Shalala about the process and now what essentially amounts to legal wrangling.

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