Coaches told NCAA will nix foundation
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The National Association of Basketball Coaches said Friday this will be the last year its members can have financial relationships with the Harold Pump Foundation, a charity run by basketball power brokers David and Dana Pump.
The brothers are well known in college basketball circles, sponsoring camps and summer leagues. The NABC, however, said the NCAA has barred financial links in this area, expressing concern about "funneling of money" issues in men's basketball recruiting.
NABC executive director Jim Haney said the move was not necessarily aimed only at the Pumps.
"There are foundations that have been formed to create funding mechanisms for summer programs, for club teams as a means of soliciting funding," Haney told The Associated Press. "One of the things that's occurred, directly or indirectly, is college coaches have felt pressured to contribute to those funds -- 'You fund it, you'll have access to the players that I control.'"
Calls to Double Pump Inc. in Westwood, Calif., were not immediately returned. Yahoo! Sports reported Friday that the NCAA has also adopted legislation shutting down a coaching search company operated by the Pumps called ChampSearch. Tennessee reportedly retained the company before hiring Bruce Pearl as head coach of its men's program.
"What are Dana and I supposed to do?" David Pump told Yahoo! Sports. "Of course I'm very disappointed. Dana and I work our whole life to build our business, and people are doing things like this. Don't you think they're being a little unfair?"
The NCAA's new rules on the subject bar schools and staff from paying a consulting fee "to an individual associated with a prospective student-athlete or to a consulting firm in which an individual associated with a prospective student-athlete has a proprietary or financial interest."
The NCAA did not immediately return calls Friday. Its director of basketball enforcement, LuAnn Humphrey, told Yahoo! Sports there were concerns about a conflict of interest.
"We are going to be concerned about the structure of any business who would potentially meet that definition [of being associated with prospects]," she said. "If you have a consulting firm that is in some way tied to prospects -- some of the benefits or the monies could be going to prospects -- there is that conflict of interest. Is the person being hired because they have a connection to prospects? Or are they being hired because they are a search firm?"
The Kansas City-based NABC said "numerous athletic administrative and coaches" have attended the Harold Pump Foundation golf outing and fundraiser over the past decade. Haney said the NCAA ban doesn't take effect until next year and coaches may attend the foundation's fundraiser this year.
"There may be some guys who decide to attend. There may be some guys who choose not to attend," he said.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press