Morris comes from Sacramento State

Updated: August 11, 2004, 12:12 AM ET
Associated Press

SEATTLE -- The University of Washington has hired a compliance director to replace Dana Richardson, whose erroneous memorandum on gambling was the cornerstone of former football coach Rick Neuheisel's legal defense.

John Morris, who has held a similar position at Sacramento State for the past 2½ years, will join the UW on Sept. 1, athletic director Todd Turner announced Tuesday. Compliance officers advise athletic programs about following NCAA and conference rules.

"John's background, experience in intercollegiate athletics and knowledge of NCAA governance, legislation and compliance will be an invaluable asset," Turner said.

Neuheisel was fired last summer for participating in an auction-style basketball betting pool and for initially lying to NCAA investigators about it. He is suing the school and NCAA over his dismissal.

Neuheisel has based much of his defense on a Richardson memo that incorrectly suggested the NCAA allowed participation in such gambling.

The memo, approved by faculty athletic representative Robert S. Aronson, a law professor, stated: "The bottom line of these rules is that if you have friends outside of ICA (intercollegiate athletics) that have pools on any of the basketball tournaments, you can participate. You cannot place bets with a bookie or organize your own pool inside or outside of ICA."

Richardson said she had tried to provide correct information. She resigned in February, saying she needed a career change.

Before joining Sacramento State, Morris worked for three years at the NCAA. He previously had worked as an attorney and as compliance officer for his alma mater, Vanderbilt University.

"I was extremely impressed with the coaches, student-athletes and staff I met at Washington," said Morris, 36. "I know people there are committed to doing things the right way."

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press