The Cavalier Daily
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Virginia files self-report with NCAA

The University has filed a self-report regarding possible rules violations by the men's basketball team to the NCAA. The investigation, which focused on possible recruiting infringements, began late in 1997 and concluded in March of this year with the submission of the findings.

The internal investigation focused on the recruitment of Melvin Whitaker, who signed a commitment with the Cavaliers but never enrolled in school.

"The whole investigation centered on the recruitment of Melvin Whitaker," said Lynn Mitchell, Virginia's associate athletic director for compliance.

Now the NCAA will review the report and decide whether or not to conduct its own investigation. The amount of time the NCAA takes to study the investigation and deliver a response does not have a specific format.

"They don't really have a timetable," Mitchell said. "When [a report] goes in, it depends on how much is going on, who actually handles the report, and [other factors] as to how long it takes."

In most cases when a school reports itself for secondary rules violations, the NCAA hands out minor sanctions. Mitchell said she would not determine whether the findings were secondary or major violations.

"I'm not going to speculate as to whether if falls into secondary or major," she said.

She added that the NCAA decides into which category violations fall.

Whitaker was convicted on a malicious wounding charge after slashing football player Maurice Anderson with a box-cutter knife in 1996.

Anderson is a senior on this year's football team. Whitaker served two and a half years in jail as a result of the conviction. After his release, Whitaker enrolled at Mount St. Mary's College.

In a 1998 interview with The Cavalier Daily, Whitaker said that he made no allegations to the NCAA and that he was unaware of any rules violations concerning his recruitment.

Whitaker also said in that interview that Virginia and NCAA investigators had visited him in prison in January of 1998. He added that their concerns focused on his living arrangement in Charlottesville before his arrest.