While it’s been over ten months since allegations surfaced against the Fairfield University men’s basketball program concerning violations in NCAA regulations, it appears the investigation has yet to reach a decision.

The allegations, which surfaced on August 5, 2003 in the Connecticut Post, led the university to hire one of the premiere NCAA law firms in the nation, Bond, Schoeneck ‘ King, to investigate claims of numerous improprieties committed by members of the team’s coaching staff.

Lead investigator Attorney Stephen Morgan and his team are specifically investigating claims made by former players, who have stated that head coach Tim O’Toole and his staff helped falsify drug tests, gave unauthorized cash handouts to players and committed academic dishonesty by writing papers for players.

While similar charges were originally brought to the attention of the university in early March through an anonymous letter, the school’s athletic compliance committee, made up of faculty, staff and administrators, conducted an investigation and concluded that no such improprieties existed.

When the article surfaced a few months later, former Fairfield University President Aloysius P. Kelley felt it presented the university with “additional, more specific information” causing them to “act immediately and re-open the investigation to fully and objectively examine all of the concerns that have been raised.”

In early September 2003, the investigation was updated when a report in the Post alleged that a former member of the Fairfield basketball team witnessed tampering on behalf of former University of Nevada-Las Vegas coach Bill Bayno.

Darren Phillip’00, stated that Bayno, a friend of O’Toole’s, attempted to persuade Oscar Garcia’03 into altering his story concerning the improprieties of the program.

While the investigation has not been updated since, the investigation remains a controversial issue among members of the Fairfield community, as many students, new and old, are aware of the ongoing investigation.

“I remember hearing about it from some friends I know at Fairfield,” said prospective student Robin Devore. “It seemed like a pretty big issue for the school to have to hire a firm to investigate it. But I haven’t heard much about it since.”

Former Fairfield athlete and 2003 graduate James Naldi has also kept up with the on-going investigation and is anxious to learn of the eventual outcome.

“You hear about these sort of situations with big programs and I have always been surprised when these allegations surfaced with a Fairfield team,” he said. “As a former athlete, I know how time-consuming playing a sport can be, and I hope for the team’s sake that these allegations are false.”

While a conclusion to the investigation has not been determined, Kelley has stated from the very beginning, that he would like to see the investigation be given as much time as needed in order to arrive at the appropriate decision.

“As we said to the investigative team in the very beginning, and to the public, we were not looking for a quick investigation, but a thorough one,” he said in a statement released last year through a public relations department.

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