Ryan Boatright Ruled Eligible, Considering Legal Options Against NCAA

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NCAA Denies Violating Ryan Boatright's Privacy

Despite being cleared to play, UConn freshman Ryan Boatright is upset with the way the organization conducted its investigation into claims that he received improper benefits. His attorney, Scott Tompsett, released a statement earlier Sunday indicating that Boatright and his family were considering "legal options" after the NCAA "violated the Boatrights' privacy by releasing their confidential information."

In response, the NCAA released an additional statement disputing Tompsett's claims. From NCAA.org:

Scott Tompsett's allegations are not accurate. The NCAA statement regarding Ryan Boatright is factual and in response to numerous public misstatements and the resulting inaccurate reporting by some media. The NCAA acted appropriately to ensure the misleading accounts did not continue. The NCAA did not violate the student-athlete or family's privacy in any way, nor did it imply that the benefits were used to influence Ryan Boatright to attend the University of Connecticut.

In fact, both UConn and Mr. Boatright should be commended for their cooperation throughout the process to gather information. The school and student-athlete's dedication to uncover the facts should be viewed as a positive example, not somehow construed negatively. Had Ms. Boatright cooperated fully from the beginning, this matter could have been settled months ago.

Will Tompsett release another statement in response to this statement? Stay tuned!

For more on the Huskies, check out The UConn Blog.


Ryan Boatright Considering 'Legal Options' Against NCAA

Despite being cleared to play immediately by the NCAA, Connecticut Huskies guard Ryan Boatright's family's attorney said the freshman and his mother are considering taking legal action against college sports' governing body for releasing confidential information in its statement regarding Boatright's eligibility.

Here's the NCAA's statement in question:

This situation involves many of the specific concerns expressed by NCAA membership regarding improper third party influence over student-athletes and their families. Specifically, it included more than $8,000 in cash and other impermissible benefits, including a car. These benefits - which are not allowed because they are inconsistent with the principles and values embraced by the NCAA membership - were provided to Mr. Boatright and his mother both before and while he was at UCONN. These impermissible benefits were provided by at least two individuals linked to nonscholastic basketball and professional sports.

Mr. Boatright was granted limited immunity by the NCAA Committee on Infractions, a committee comprised of NCAA members. The limited immunity allowed him to avoid missing a significant number of games and repaying the impermissible benefits. It was granted in an effort to gather information regarding third party involvement. Limited immunity is an important yet selectively used tool for the enforcement staff to gather information that would not otherwise be available.

And here's the Boatrights' attorney's statement, courtesy of The Hartford Courant:

I am astounded that the NCAA released confidential information about Ryan's case. Ryan and his mother Tanesha cooperated fully with the NCAA with the clear understanding that the information they provided would be kept confidential and would not be released to the public. The NCAA has violated the Boatrights' privacy by releasing their personal information.

Moreover, the NCAA's statement contains false and misleading information. For example, the statement implies that the benefits in question were provided to influence Ryan's decision either to attend UConn or chose an agent, if and when he goes pro. That is false and the NCAA knows it. In fact, the two individuals who provided the benefits are friends of the Boatrights. They were simply helping the family with no expectation of repayment or reciprocation. And there's not a shred of evidence that they influenced Ryan's decision to attend UConn or that they intend to represent Ryan if he ever goes pro. The public also should know that the NCAA never told Tanesha and Ryan who made the accusations about them or told them the substance of the accusations so they could defend themselves. Further, contrary to the NCAA's statement, neither Tanesha nor Ryan received a car from anyone.

Until the NCAA released its statement, the Boatrights considered this matter closed. But the NCAA's improper release of private and false information has caused the Boatrights to consider their legal options.

I don't know if there's any precedence for this type of lawsuit, but judging by how the NCAA seems to bend/create rules willy-nilly (I don't think this is true, but it always seems that way), I doubt much comes of this.

For continuing coverage of UConn and Boatright, visit The UConn blog and Big East Coast Bias.

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