Report: Tosh Lupoi Under Investigation, Hire Blocked By USC Compliance

Oct. 20, 2012; Tempe, AZ, USA; Washington Huskies head coach Steve Sarkisian (center) leads his team onto the field prior to the game against the Arizona Wildcats prior to the game at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Current Washington defensive line coach and potential target to join Steve Sarkisian’s staff at USC, Tosh Lupoi is under investigation for violating NCAA recruiting rules, according to Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times.

The LA Times report says that Lupoi paid for private tutoring and online classes for Washington defensive line recruit Andrew Basham.

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.

Basham ultimately signed for the Huskies but was not academically eligible to join the program.

Lupoi, who is considered one of the nation’s top recruiters, was reportedly set to join Sarkisian’s staff in Los Angeles the week he was hired. However, rumors cropped up that USC’s compliance department was blocking the hire.

With USC currently under NCAA sanctions, athletic director Pat Haden has made compliance a priority, increasing staff in the compliance department exponentially. Red flags in Lupoi’s past would be as good a reason as any to steer clear.

In fact, according to the report, that is exactly what USC plans to do.

A USC person with knowledge of the process said Lupoi’s chance of being hired by USC was now “less than zero.” The person was not authorized to speak publicly about the situation and requested anonymity.

USC also insisted in the report that they were confident Sarkisian was unaware of the alleged violations.

Topics: Football, Tosh Lupoi, USC Trojans

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  • agent13

    Great, just great. I’m guessing that the Compliance department’s confidence of Sark’s non-involvement is based on Haden’s “gut-feeling” about this situation.

    I hope that this isn’t the start of another 2 year tour-de-hell……

    If this blows up. please oh please Pat – go back to Notre Dame…….

    • Ben Factor

      It’s a little early to implicate Sark in the payments, if, in fact, they occurred. If Sark;s involvement is confirmed, USC can sack him, which wouldn’t bother me.

      However, I think you would agree that USC should be proactive and hire its own people to get to the bottom of it sooner, not later. There is no point in waiting and hoping, and letting the NCAA do things in their incompetent way. The program is wounded already.

      • Alicia de Artola

        The wait and see approach is wise. (At this point, Washington and USC are the ones investigating. NCAA hasn’t stepped in yet)
        In any case, I don’t expect Sark to be implicated. At worst, the new HC responsibility clause could make things interesting, but even that is up in the air as we have no idea what kind of penalties can come from that (it has never come into play).

        • agent13

          True. However what I find most disturbing is that a man of Haden’s reputation who takes his time in arriving at a decision and does his due diligence would not have vetted Sark’s staff as well.[he had over 2 full months].
          A reasonable man would know that a new coach will bring a few of his present staff with him to his new job. Seeing that Lupoi is the ace recruiter at UW and would most likely come over – the question begs – did Haden / Compliance ask the NCAA if Sark et al are under investigation? If the NCAA doesn’t release this info, at least they asked. Secondly, did Haden ask Sark if he or anyone on his staff who his planning on bringing over are under investigation. If the answer is yes, more due diligence is necessary; if no, and they are, then Sark would have lied and you have a straight-forward case of dismissal. I find it incredibly hard to believe that Sark would not know what his top recruiter is up to [i.e. who he's after and what methods he uses to close "deals"].

          Perception is reality and SC is now being tainted again. They are still under sanctions, so the least bit of smoke should have them running away from any candidate.

          Orgeron was available – Haden knows what has been going on in recruiting here since he took over. There has been nary a word of wrongdoing. Instead, he chose the devil, he didn’t know. Do you really want a coach in charge who doesn’t seem to know what his coaches are doing. Hear no evil – see no evil is not acceptable at SC under the present situation

          • Ben Factor

            If you want to be 100% safe, you can never leave the house.

            I wish Haden had taken more chances, and hired a super prospect he didn’t know. Instead, he plucked a mediocrity because of prior ties to USC. Inbreeding is bad in nature, and bad in business. It degrades the gene stock, and narrows the vision.

  • RFLee

    No surprise here with Compliance Dept. blocking out Lupoi. Don’t need to give COI another reason to look at USC.

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