Hart speaks to Athletic Board

Here are Dave Hart's comments to FSU's Athletic Board Wednesday afternoon in regards to his staff's investigation into gambling allegations by former quarterback Adrian McPherson. Following the meeting, Hart said he does not anticipate any NCAA penalties concerning that inquiry.

This is the transcript from Dave Hart's address to the athletic board Tuesday.

"I think it is important that you understand the chronological order of some of these events and I would like to take this time to do that. This all begin in terms of the first time we were alerted to any rumor relating to gambling by anyone within this department -- (it) began when Andy Urbanic brought to Bob Minnix the rumor of alleged gambling on the part of one student-athlete in our program.

"And this emanated from Andy Urbanic looking into alleged misuse of a credit card between this student-athlete and a student manager. Urbanic, as related to that incident, questioned all parties involved, meaning three people. When misuse of that particular card was denied by the person, he called all three sets of parents - informing them of this accusation. He also told the student-manger involved that he should file a complaint with the police if he felt this was accurate. During one of those phone calls with the parents was when a comment was made, an allegation was made about possible gambling on the part of a student-athlete.

At that time, that same day, Andy Urbanic called Bob Minnix in compliance to report to Bob that he was told of this alleged rumor. Bob then immediately began a follow-up -- interviewing the student-athlete - -the subject of rumor, the student-athlete's closest friend along with manager -- all who emphatically denied any involvement in gambling. So that rumor was not substantiated in the immediate follow-up.... the NCAA was notified immediately of the rumor, and also notified who was interviewed in the substance of those interviews. In addition, the student-athlete was told that this case would not be closed. If we had any reason to believe that we should look further and intensify that, that we would.

.... "We didn't hear anything else about gambling until the stolen check incident occurred, and you know what I'm referencing when I reference that incident. It has now become very apparent that some of those same people were not forthright when they spoke to Bob Minnix based on testimony they later gave under oath to the police. It is important to remember that when we received the information we did not have what is now cataloged and released in this report.

"I think it is also important to say that we cannot afford to begin the practice of punishing student-athletes based on rumor without supporting facts to substantiate it. I think it is clearly important that we recognize and respect, and we talked about this before in this group, the confidentiality of student as it relates to rumors.

"Like compliance programs all over the country, we get many rumors. It's almost like a week doesn't go by literally that we don't have some rumor come to us by either word of mouth or internet or by sources of that nature. And we do our best to look into every rumor that comes to our office. At the same token, I know some media and other people have questioned, and it's an understandable question, why no notes were taken. But that has been, right or wrong , that has been a practice for the simple reason that if we take notes every time we question someone or a rumor, those notes tend to become public in nature and could potentially be subjecting student-athletes to information that is in a form of rumor becoming very public in its scrutiny. There are two websites, as a matter of fact, that are devoted purely to FSU sports and so you might imagine, they pulsate with a lot of rumors.

"So in recapping, I just want to say that when the rumor arrived on a desk it was immediately pursued, taken to our compliance office who then brought to me. I took it then to the president and the NCAA was contacted. And again, until such time that the stolen check incident reared its head, we had no additional information. Only at that time then did the president say that he would engage three law enforcement agencies in an effort to intensify the investigation. Bob Minnix did the same thing. He continued then to interview people because it was disconcerting - the whole check incident.

"I also should tell you this about the check incident. Adrian McPherson was dismissed from the football team because he was not truthful about his involvement in check incident. Not truthful to me, not truthful to coach Bowden. Some feel now that it appears that he was dismissed because of gambling allegations. That's not part of it at all. He was dismissed on the basis of not being truthful in his involvement in the check incident.

"So that's kind of a recap, if you will, showing what occurred. Obviously that's not 800 pages. But I thought it was important for you as athletic board members to know that recap for your purposes. Any time you're involved in a setting of this nature -- rumors, exaggerations and innuendo tends to basically rule the day. And that's what we've been through for several weeks, and even months, as law enforcement agencies and Bob Minnix looked into it.

"And I would say, just on a personal note, I am certainly not offended and I don't think anyone should be or is offended at the suggestion that we should now look at our protocol and look at the processes and see if it cannot be improved. We would do that ...any time something like this faces us as we did after the tragic death of a student-athlete. Because of regardless of how good you might think your process and procedures might be, certainly inspection of those after something of this nature, we are obligated to move in that direction."

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