SUNY board to oversee Binghamton

Updated: October 2, 2009, 5:23 PM ET
Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. -- The State University of New York is pursuing an independent review of Binghamton University's athletic program following the dismissals of six basketball team members.

Lois DeFleur, the university's president, called for the audit after last week's releases of star basketball player Emanuel "Tiki" Mayben, who's facing drug charges, and five of his teammates.

SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher said Friday the executive committee of SUNY's board of trustees will oversee the review. She said she'll meet with DeFleur next week to discuss details of the audit, which will focus on the program's compliance with America East and NCAA policies and procedures.

"These steps are necessary to remove any doubt whatsoever about the quality and integrity of the athletic and academic enterprises of Binghamton University and to strengthen or change any processes and procedures necessary in furtherance of our goal," said Zimpher.

Zimpher has taken a hard line before on athletic department problems. She was president of the University of Cincinnati when men's basketball coach Bob Huggins was pressured to resign in 2005 because of low graduation rates, suspensions and arrests of players.

Mayben pleaded not guilty last week to cocaine distribution charges. Players D.J. Rivera, Malik Alvin, Corey Chandler, Paul Crosby and David Fine were also released. School officials wouldn't discuss the reasons for the releases.

DeFleur has also asked Coach Kevin Broadus to give her a recruitment and supervision plan for the basketball team. Additionally, Joel Thirer resigned as athletic director Wednesday.

Broadus signed a contract extension in June through the 2013-2014 season, following the team's first conference championship and NCAA tournament berth.

Mayben's arrest was the latest legal problem for a player since Broadus became coach in 2007.

Former player Miladin Kovacevic, who wasn't recruited by Broadus, faces prosecution in his native Serbia on charges he beat a classmate into a coma during a May 2008 barroom brawl. He fled New York for home, creating tensions between the U.S. and Serbia that were resolved when Serbia agreed to pay $900,000 to the victim's family and prosecute Kovacevic.

Alvin, a transfer student brought in by Broadus, was charged with stealing condoms from a Wal-Mart in November.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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