Print and Go Back ESPN.com: College Football [Print without images]

Friday, October 10, 2003
Coach confirms NCAA inquiry

Associated Press

SEATTLE -- The NCAA is still investigating whether gambling was a common practice in the University of Washington athletic department.

School officials are expected to release a report on its own investigation in the next month or two. At that point, the school could announce sanctions it hopes would be ratified by the NCAA and the Pac-10.

Husky football coach Rick Neuheisel was fired in July for betting thousands of dollars in neighborhood gambling pools during the past two NCAA basketball tournaments and, according to athletic director Barbara Hedges, for not being forthcoming when first questioned by NCAA investigators.

Coach Keith Gilbertson, Neuheisel's successor, confirmed that he talked to NCAA and Pac-10 investigators this week. They are investigating possible gambling pools in the Washington football office.

The investigators were on the Washington campus Wednesday.

"I've been advised to say we cannot discuss it while there's an investigation going on," Gilbertson told The Seattle Times on Thursday. "They were here -- talked to us -- talked to me yesterday."

The newspaper asked Gilbertson if the investigators specifically talked to other members of the Huskies' football staff. He replied: "They talked to me. They visited with me."

Washington media relations director Jim Daves confirmed the investigators were on campus this week.

"They were here," Daves said. "But we don't comment on an investigation while it's ongoing."

In the summer, Gilbertson said he told the NCAA he took part in one pool, in 1999, and said: "I might have been in another one. I don't remember."

Gilbertson, 55, got the Washington head coaching job July 29, one day after Neuheisel's dismissal became official.

Washington officials previously have acknowledged that Gilbertson and other football coaches participated in an office pool in 1999, but not any other years.

Gilbertson was an assistant at Washington under Neuheisel from 1999-2003, including being the offensive coordinator from 2000-2003.

A former head coach at California and Idaho, Gilbertson signed a four-year contract with the Huskies that will pay him as much as $870,000 a year. His base pay is $420,000 a season.

Neuheisel has sued the NCAA and Washington, alleging breach of contract by the school and accusing NCAA officials of defamation, conspiracy and wrongfully interfering with his job.