L E X I N G T O N, Ky., Feb. 6, 2001 -- With the football team under a school investigation for possible recruiting violations, Kentucky's athletic director and university president met today.
Athletic director Larry Ivy also planned to talk to footballcoach Hal Mumme. Ivy said the school would hold a news conferencelater in the day.
"You would hope that in your first six or seven months on thejob that this wouldn't be something you'd be giving this much timeand priority to," said Ivy, who met with Charles Wethington at theoffice of the university president.
Athletic Director: Maintain Integrity of Program
"But at the same time, one of the most important things we cando is maintain the integrity of the football program, and that'swhat we're trying to do."
Ivy, who succeeded C.M. Newton as athletic director last summer,would not discuss the reasons for his meetings with Wethington andMumme.
"I'm meeting with Hal, but that's as far as it goes," Ivy toldThe Courier-Journal late Monday night. "That's all I can say."
The meetings and news conference come one day before high schoolfootball players are allowed to sign letters-of-intent with collegeprograms.
Former assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Claude Bassettin January admitted sending $1,400 in money orders to a Memphishigh school football coach and improperly cashing a $500 checkdonated by a booster to help fund Mumme's summer football camp.
Several Major Violations Alleged
Ivy has told the school's board of trustees that theinvestigation had uncovered several violations, some of which wouldbe deemed major by the NCAA. He also has said there has been noevidence linking Mumme to any violations.
Mumme, who is 20-26 in four seasons with the Wildcats, has beensilent since the school began its internal investigation inNovember.
"Obviously, it's not been black and white," Ivy said of theinvestigation. "We've gone through several stages with thisinvestigation. We thought it was over a time or two, and thensomething else would come up."
Mumme was a virtually unknown head coach at Division II ValdostaState when he was hired by Newton in 1997 to replace Bill Curry,who was fired after compiling a 26-52 record in seven years at theschool.
"Mummeball," as his aggressive, wide-open passing attackbecame known, ignited renewed fan interest in a languishingprogram. Following a 5-6 record his first season, the Wildcats went7-5 and 6-6 the next two years and played in back-to-back bowlgames — a feat accomplished only twice previously in the 109-yearhistory of the program.
After boasting that his squad was ready to challenge perennialSoutheastern Conference powers Florida and Tennessee entering the2000 season, the Wildcats went 2-9, losing their final eight games.