60 Minutes Sports details ex-Southern Miss coach Donnie Tyndall’s fight with NCAA – CBSSports.com
A former Southern Miss assistant told “60 Minutes Sports” that Donnie Tyndall “masterminded” the academic fraud scandal that led to an NCAA investigation that effectively ended Tyndall’s college coaching career, meaning there are now two former Southern Miss assistants on record against Tyndall.
Previously, there was only one — Adam Howard.
The new former assistant was granted anonymity. Tyndall again denied the allegation. The “60 Minutes Sports” story airs at 8 ET on Tuesday night on Showtime.
“Whoever would tell you that has not spoken to the NCAA on the record,” Tyndall told 60 Minutes Sports’ Armen Keteyian. “The NCAA record is 40 people saying I had absolutely nothing to do with it and one person [Howard] saying that I did. [What this new assistant told you is] simply untrue, Armen.”
The NCAA hit Tyndall with a 10-year show-cause penalty in April 2016 — a year after Tennessee fired him as its coach amid the investigation — for the role it determined he played in violations committed while in charge of Southern Miss’ program from 2012 to 2014. But Tyndall appealed in June 2016 and argued the NCAA unfairly relied almost exclusively on the testimony of Howard to tie him to the violations and that it did so only after Howard cut a deal for immunity that should’ve never been allowed.
Howard initially denied Tyndall’s involvement to the NCAA twice. So he was either lying at first or lying in the end. Either way, Tyndall’s position is that the NCAA was wrong to rely on the testimony of a documented liar to cost him his reputation and a contract at Tennessee worth millions and millions of dollars.
“I’m not disputing that violations happened on my watch,” Tyndall told CBS Sports. “I acknowledge that. I take responsibility for that. I should be punished similarly to the way [Syracuse coach] Jim Boeheim and [SMU coach] Larry Brown were punished when violations happened on their watches. But what the NCAA did to me is wrong. The NCAA interviewed 40 people, and most of them denied I had any knowledge of academic fraud, and none of them, except Adam Howard, said I was involved. And Adam Howard only said what he said after he cut a deal with the NCAA thanks to his lawyer who used to be on the Committee on Infractions.
“In other words, lots of people said I wasn’t involved — and only one person said I was involved. But the NCAA took the word of one person over everybody else and buried me. That’s not right or fair — especially when you consider that these false allegations also cost me my job at Tennessee. And that’s why I trust that the Appeals Committee will vacate these findings and allow me to continue my coaching career. Because the evidence presented doesn’t match the findings, and the punishment doesn’t fit the crime.”
Tyndall is still waiting for a ruling on his appeal.
He’s now working for the Toronto Raptors’ NBDL franchise.