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Report: Washington DL coach Tosh Lupoi under investigation for possible NCAA rules violation

tosh lupoi

Washington defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi is under investigation by both Washington and USC (his prospective employer) for allegedly paying for online classes and tutoring for a recruit, the Los Angeles Times reported on Wednesday.

The allegations involve defensive lineman Andrew Basham, who signed with the Huskies last February but failed to qualify academically. If the allegations are found to be true, Lupoi would be guilty of a major NCAA violation, which could also result in trouble for his former boss, current USC coach Steve Sarkisian.

Mike Davis, a throwing coach who helped Basham win a state shotput title, told The Times that Tosh Lupoi, Washington’s defensive line coach, gave him $3,000 to cover private tutoring for Basham through a test preparation company. Davis said he also received $1,500 from Lupoi to reimburse Basham’s father for online classes Andrew could use to raise his grade-point average.

NCAA rules prohibit universities from paying for a prospect’s academic services. Head coaches are required to “promote an atmosphere of compliance” and are held responsible for the actions of assistant coaches and administrators who report, directly or indirectly, to them.

Be sure to read the whole story as it details the sneaky ways Lupoi passed cash to Davis.

Lupoi got his start at Cal, where he played in the early 2000s before coaching under Jeff Tedford. He earned a reputation as a great recruiter, bringing to Berkeley such national recruits as Keenan Allen and Chris Martin. He was then hired away to Washington by Sarksian in 2012 and had a hand in getting 5-star recruit Shaq Thompson to switch his commitment from the Bears to the Huskies. While he’s respected for his ability to relate to recruits, he’s long been suspected in recruiting circles of playing fast and loose with NCAA rules.

Now that Sarkisian has been hired by USC, the thought was that Lupoi might join him on staff. However, the USC compliance office is unlikely to let that happen now — “less than zero” is how a source from USC characterized those chances to the Times reporter.

If these allegations have any credence, it would mean major egg on the face of Trojans athletic director Pat Haden, who crowed about Sarkisian being “a good fit” for USC when he announced the hire a couple weeks ago. With USC still in the throes of NCAA probation, hiring a coach who himself hired an assistant who passed around cash to recruits and their coaches would not be a good thing, especially if Sarkisian is found to be culpable for failing to promote an atmosphere at Washington that respects NCAA rules.

It’s not easy to create a mess for two programs at once, but Lupoi appears to be well on his way.

Photo courtesy of Washington athletics.

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9 Responses to “Report: Washington DL coach Tosh Lupoi under investigation for possible NCAA rules violation”
  1. meatcarroll says: Dec 18, 2013 10:47 PM

    Good. Screw the NCAA. I’m a Washington diehard but I support anything and anyone who disrespects that garbage organization after the obscenely unjust wrecking of USC out of sheer pettiness while letting real dirty programs like Florida, Miami, Ohio State, and Penn State off with a slap on the wrist or less.

  2. mydixienormus says: Dec 18, 2013 10:55 PM

    Sark was the offensive coordinator at USC during the Reggie Bush fiasco right? He always seem to get a free pass on that one.

    Maybe his lies are going to catch up with him now.

    I’m probably just bitter since he lied about being interviewed for the USC job and pretended like coaching the Huskies was his dream job.

    We all should know better than to believe a coach when his lips are moving.

  3. pdcooper08 says: Dec 18, 2013 11:07 PM

    Not so sure about that. I think Norm Chow was still the OC when Reggie’s parents lied and deceived everyone.

    Regardless, I have been hearing a lot of negative things regarding this UW coach since he bolted from Cal last year. That story given by Davis is way to detailed to be made up. This doesn’t sound good.

  4. lsuzilla says: Dec 19, 2013 12:33 AM

    So what happened here?
    Basham was mad that his coach left so he tattled on his ex-coach?

  5. soundsofsuccess7 says: Dec 19, 2013 2:35 AM

    “The USC football program will indefinitely suspend all operations as a result of the knewly found sanctions involving Steve Sarksisian’s assistant at another school. We at the NCAA hope USC takes this as a time to get their program turned around without having to worry about playing games.”

    I can see the NCAA doing it

  6. gborange says: Dec 19, 2013 6:50 AM

    Chow was OC when Bush was recruited. Kiffin was OC his last year in 05. It’s not like they stray away from questionable coaches

  7. ratsfoiledagain says: Dec 19, 2013 10:50 AM

    Wonder if this is something he did while at Cal?

    It’s a possibility.

    Maybe this is why he was deemed a ‘good/great’ recruiter.

  8. 8to80texansblog says: Dec 19, 2013 12:24 PM

    Yeah, of course Sark left… taking a lesson from his mentor I see…

  9. dhardy8207 says: Dec 19, 2013 1:35 PM

    Something doesn’t jive here. First, why is a track and field coach speaking out now unless he didn’t get something maybe that was promised to him. This all apparently went down back late 2012 – Feburary of this year.

    Just sounds kind of fishy that this guy Davis would wait until the HC and possibly the assistant he dealt with is leaving before he comes out with the dirt.

    What would be interesting to know is what he was promised for being the middle man in this…

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