Fairfield University has been cleared of the major NCAA violations alleged by former students from the men’s basketball team after an independent investigation, Father Jeffrey von Arx announced Thursday.

“This is good news for Fairfield and for the basketball program and I wanted to share it with the entire university community personally,” he said at an afternoon news conference at the Barone Campus Center. “The investigation began in August 2003. It was an extensive and deliberative process and the results were provided to the NCAA.”

The NCAA reviewed the information and agreed with the independent findings. While no major violations were found, there were some secondary infractions found by attorney Stephen Morgan.

“During the course of Mr. Morgan’s investigation a few secondary violations were uncovered which I am told is not unusual during such an extensive program review,” said von Arx.

“Nobody missed competition due to the secondary violations we found,” said Morgan.

Morgan, an attorney with the firm of Bond, Shoeneck ‘ King, examined not only the original allegations but did an extensive review of the whole system. Jermaine Clark ’02, Oscar Garcia and Jeremy Logan ’03, and two former players that wished to remain anonymous, said in the Tuesday Aug. 5, 2003 edition of the Connecticut Post that Fairfield’s basketball coaching staff falsified mandated drug tests, committed academic dishonesty by writing term papers for several players, gave cash handouts for as much as $500 during the 1999-2000 winter break, and gave regular cash payments from a booster.

Clark, Logan and Garcia each told the Connecticut Post that O’Toole ran a “boot camp,” mandating players to devote their free time to basketball related activities while surpassing the 20-hour cap each week.

Morgan would not go so far as to label Garcia and the other players as “liars” but said they had different views of the same situation.

“For the most part it’s more a situation of evidence that doesn’t substantiate what was said,” he said. “It’s the old issue of several people observe the same sequence of events and report something different. You have to look at the motives and credibility of the witnesses involved.”

Garcia told the Connecticut Post that assistant coach Andy Buzbee wrote term papers for Stags’ standout Deng Gai, ’05. Buzbee has recently resigned from the Stags’ coaching staff. Garcia said Buzbee even joked about doing Gai’s papers in the locker room with the entire team. Garcia also said Buzbee helped to falsify a drug test that was given to Gai last season.

The investigation, which lasted 16 months, has been a distraction on the team and everyone involved is pleased it has ended.

“With the length of the investigation, I’m proud it went the way it did,” said O’Toole. “You can only worry about the things you can control.”

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