KANSAS CITY, Missouri - Frank Haith's name has been dragged through the mud recently. Ever since a Yahoo! Sports report alleged he was involved in some improper activities at the University of Miami, Haith has remained silent. He finally broke that silence in an interview this weekend with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The new Missouri basketball coach wanted to make a couple of points. First and foremost, he wanted to let everyone know he had no idea this storm was coming when he took the Mizzou job.
"I was not aware of any allegations against my program until this story was written."
In that Yahoo! story, a booster by the name of Nevin Shapiro alleges he paid a Miami basketball recruit $10,000. Shapiro went on to claim Haith knew about the payment. In the Post-Dispatch interview, Haith said he could not talk about specific allegations due to the ongoing NCAA investigation.
Haith did address the allegations that he lied to a Mizzou official. When the story first broke, Haith reportedly told media relations official Dave Reiter that he did not have a relationship with Shapiro. The story was then published with two pictures showing Haith with Shapiro. Still, Haith claimed to the Post-Dispatch he did not lie when he told Reiter he had no relationship with the Miami booster.
"I just don't like the fact that that's lingering around any article I see, that I lied. And I never lied. And neither did Dave Reiter. No one did. It's the truth."
Haith told the Post-Dispatch he thought it was necessary to "fight back a little bit" for his name and job. For now, Haith is trying to go about his business as the Missouri head coach. In fact, he just landed a recruit. Shawn Smith, a high school guard out of Jacksonville, Florida, told PowerMizzou.com on Saturday that he had given Haith an oral commitment to play at Missouri in 2012.