Boatright Family Considering Legal Options

Ryan Boatright returned to the Connecticut basketball team Sunday after his eligibility review was settled with the NCAA on Saturday. But we certainly haven't heard the end of this matter. The possibility of legal action surfaced Sunday.

Scott W. Tompsett, Tanesha Boatright's attorney, issued a statement Sunday regarding the NCAA's release of a timeline that chronicled the events since Boatright's first review in October and November.

Tompsett is a partner in Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP, a law firm in Kansas City, Mo.

Here is his statement:

I represent Tanesha Boatright. The statement below is in response to the statement released late yesterday by the NCAA. Statement In Response to NCAA's Statement About Ryan and Tanesha Boatright I am astounded that the NCAA released confidential information about Ryan's case. Ryan and his mother Tanesha cooperated fully with the NCAA with the clear understanding that the information they provided would be kept confidential and would not be released to the public. The NCAA has violated the Boatrights' privacy by releasing their personal information.

Moreover, the NCAA's statement contains false and misleading information. For example, the statement implies that the benefits in question were provided to influence Ryan's decision either to attend UConn or chose an agent, if and when he goes pro. That is false and the NCAA knows it. In fact, the two individuals who provided the benefits are friends of the Boatrights. They were simply helping the family with no expectation of repayment or reciprocation. And there's not a shred of evidence that they influenced Ryans decision to attend UConn or that they intend to represent Ryan if he ever goes pro. The public also should know that the NCAA never told Tanesha and Ryan who made the accusations about them or told them the substance of the accusations so they could defend themselves. Further, contrary to the NCAA's statement, neither Tanesha nor Ryan received a car from anyone.

Until the NCAA released its statement, the Boatrights considered this matter closed. But the NCAA's improper release of private and false information has caused the Boatrights to consider their legal options.

Later Sunday afternoon, the NCAA posted this response on its web site.

The NCAA has issued the following statement in response to allegations made by Scott Tompsett, a lawyer representing the Boatright family.

Scott Tompsett's allegations are not accurate. The NCAA statement regarding Ryan Boatright is factual and in response to numerous public misstatements and the resulting inaccurate reporting by some media. The NCAA acted appropriately to ensure the misleading accounts did not continue. The NCAA did not violate the student-athlete or family's privacy in anyway, nor did it imply that the benefits were used to influence Ryan Boatright to attend the University of Connecticut.

In fact, both UConn and Boatright should be commended for their cooperation throughout the process to gather information. The school and student-athlete's dedication to uncover the facts should be viewed as a positive example, not somehow construed negatively. Had Boatright's mother cooperated fully from the beginning, this matter could have been settled months ago.

University of Connecticut president Susan Herbst also released this statement:

We are pleased that Ryan is now eligible to play basketball, and thank his family, friends, fellow students, faculty, coaches and everyone who has supported him and the university over the last several months.

This young man has shown tremendous patience and poise all the while in the national spotlight. This is a strength of character that is seldom demanded of college freshmen and I am extraordinarily proud of him, our team and our coaching staff.

As far as the process that took place over the last few months, the University does have ideas about how it might be improved and we would like continue this dialogue.


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