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Casey Implicated in Charges, Newspaper Says : Kentucky Assistant Misled Investigators, According to NCAA Allegations

Associated Press

Dwane Casey, Kentucky assistant basketball coach, gave “false and misleading information” to the National Collegiate Athletic Assn. concerning his recruiting of Chris Mills, the NCAA charges in 1 of the 17 allegations made public recently against the school’s basketball program, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.

The newspaper reported Thursday that the NCAA has charged Casey with misleading three investigators on April 26, when he denied sending money to Claud Mills, father of Chris Mills, a star at Fairfax High School in Los Angeles who is now attending Kentucky.

The newspaper quoted two sources who asked to remain anonymous because they are not spokesmen for Kentucky.

The sources also told the newspaper that Casey was charged with another violation of NCAA regulations for transporting Kentucky recruits Eric Manuel of Georgia and LeRon Ellis of Mater Dei High in Santa Ana around the Lexington, Ky., area to apply for summer jobs.

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Neither Casey nor his attorney, Joe Bill Campbell, could be reached for comment.

Bernie Vonderheide, Kentucky’s director of public relations, declined to comment when asked about Casey’s possible involvement in the allegations.

In late July, Casey was identified in the first of 18 allegations against the school by the NCAA for allegedly mailing a package to Claud Mills that contained $1,000.

The Emery Worldwide air freight package broke open in transit, revealing the money, according to several Emery employees.

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Casey has denied sending the money, and the Millses have denied receiving it.

Last Saturday, Kentucky released summaries of the 17 new allegations but deleted the names of those involved in the charges. The school has until Dec. 12 to respond to the 18 allegations.

The Courier-Journal said that Casey’s name appears in 7 of the 18 allegations. The newspaper said that other charges allege that Casey:

--Offered cash and cars to Sean Higgins, another former Fairfax star now at the University of Michigan, and financial assistance to his mother.

--Had improper recruiting contact with Higgins and on a different occasion “illegally shot baskets” with Higgins at his high school practice.

--Misled NCAA investigators about transportation provided in 1987 to then-recruits Manuel and Sean Sutton for the prospects to take the American College Test.

(The NCAA also has alleged that Manuel cheated on the test he took June 13, 1987, at Lexington’s Lafayette High School, the newspaper said. Manuel has denied the allegation.)

--Permitted a companion to have an improper recruiting contact with prep star Lawrence Funderburke of Columbus, Ohio, last December during a high school game in which Funderburke was playing.

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Campbell, Casey’s attorney, said Sunday that he had reviewed all of the allegations in which Casey’s name appeared and that his understanding of the evidence behind the charges convinced him that all of the charges are “unfounded and currently unsubstantiated.”


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