Former UConn recruit ready to talk to NCAA

Posted: 02/04/2011 in NCAAB

Ex-recruit says Calhoun lied in probe

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Among other things in a report published Friday by The New York Times, an ex-Connecticut basketball recruit says Huskies head coach Jim Calhoun lied during an NCAA investigation of recruiting violations.

Nate Miles, a former campus roommate of All-American Kemba Walker who never even practiced for the Huskies, says Calhoun lied when he told the NCAA he cautioned the former recruit not to take gifts from a professional agent and former UConn student manager.

The basketball program has already been placed on probation for three years, and Calhoun suspended for three Big East games next season, as part of the penalties stemming from the NCAA’s investigation.

But the NCAA — rebuffed in numerous attempts — never talked to Miles before closing its investigation and handing down its punishments in February, the Times reported.

That could change, according to the report, after Miles said he would “probably be open to talk to them, and, you know, get some things straight.” The Times report said the NCAA is taking the former recruit seriously and that a representative of the organization went to his grandmother’s house on Friday.

Among the claims made by Miles in two interviews with the Times in his hometown of Toledo, Ohio, were:

– He received $250 every three days from NBA agent Josh Nochimson, the former UConn student manager, and benefits totaling in the thousands.

– He was introduced to Nochimson by former UConn assistant Tom Moore, now the head coach at Quinnipiac, who approached Miles after a prep school game in Illinois and physically put him on the phone with the agent.

– He received help on at least two standardized tests taken to qualify academically to play college basketball.

“Once I committed and was really part of the family, [Nochimson] started to come, and help me out,” Miles told the Times.

Miles said Calhoun “knew” Nochimson provided him with money, clothes and food and had paid for a toe surgery. He said Calhoun lied in statements to the NCAA about whether he and Moore cautioned the recruit not to take gifts from Nochimson, and whether Calhoun called Miles in March 2007 to caution him about the agent.

UConn officials denied those claims in a statement and said the program was abiding by the NCAA penalties levied on the program. Moore declined comment to the Times by telephone.

The Huskies were spared a postseason ban as part of the NCAA sanctions and are preparing for a Final Four game against Kentucky on Saturday.

Miles never practiced for them. He was arrested in late September 2008 and issued a restraining order after a female student said she was physically and sexually assaulted by him. He made contact with her, leading to felony charges of violating a restraining order.

UConn expelled Miles in October of that year and the Times reported he currently cannot even afford the $10 fee it takes to play basketball at a local rec center. The Times said Miles would demand to be paid for any other media interviews.

– Steve

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