Dooley - I had discussions today at noon with Dr. Adams concerning some additional information that we have received that involves now academic fraud. We are talking about the same allegations over a basketball course. We have found further information that there was academic fraud in that basketball course. Additional information now has unfolded where there is unethical conduct also that has been charged. Two of the most serious findings that are involved with the NCAA. And because of the seriousness of that, we agreed that our basketball team should not compete in the SEC and NCAA tournaments. Part of the unethical conduct concern has resulted in today my declaring two of our basketball players, Chris Daniels and Rashad Wright, ineligible.
Due to the seriousness of the findings academic fraud and unethical conduct, which are cardinal findings and concerns that Coach Harrick has the ultimate responsibility for his program. We are not talking about allegations, we are talking about findings of the most serious nature. And because of that I thought that I was appropriate to recommend that Coach Harrick be suspended with pay from his employment with the University of Georgia pending further investigations. That basically means no recruiting, not representing the University of Georgia. Certainly he can use the office and the phone until all of this is finally resolved.
Coach Harrick was not directly involved in any of this that we see at this time. And we certainly hope that he will not be in any way found to be involved directly in that. So in light of that we though that it was proper to suspend him.
We did suspend those two players from eligibility. But we felt like because of the seriousness, again, of the findings, that we needed to be proactive in responding as an institution. So we agreed that we should step forward and hopefully that will show our good faith and what we believe strongly about the rule and regulations of the serious of the findings.
I think that we have a responsibility to cooperate, and this has been an ongoing cooperative effort between the NCAA, the SEC, and UGA. And we felt like it was appropriate to take action based on our findings. Then, if we find other things, we will take other action. But at this time we think that what we have done is appropriate.
Dr. Adams - I'm not in the position yet to cast dispersions yet on Tony Cole, or to accept his stories. We simply don't know enough yet. We taught over a couple 1,000s of sections of classes this year. This is the only one that we know that this conduct occurred.
We take academic integrity here pretty seriously and that's why we are taking the action that we taking. Some may consider it excessive at this time. But we believe relative to the integrity to the reputation of the University and all of its student-athletes, the overwhelming majority of whom are doing what they should, that this is the appropriate action.
The point right now is to find out the truth. To make sure to find out as much as we can about what has gone on and to take appropriate action.
Coach Dooley - my heart goes out to the players. On the other hand there were two players that were involved. And I feel deeply for them as well. At the same time I think that the overall decision is the right decision. Unfortunately some will have to suffer as a result of that.
Dr Adams - we have not suspended any players beyond the two (Daniels and Wright). We felt that at this time to focus on dealing with these matters and not to be participating in basketball tournaments.
Dooley - I have not spoken to any of the players. Damon Evans has spoken to (Daniels and Wright) and discussed the situation with them. I think that we take one step at a time. At this time, this is the appropriate step. What happens tomorrow, the next day, then we will deal with that. I felt like if we were going to not play in the NCAA tournament, then we should not play in the SEC tournament.
There is no evidence that Coach Harrick knew what took place.