Anatomy of bureaucracy: timeline for the Saint Mary’s infractions

Bureaucracy is a giant mechanism operated by pygmies. – Honore de Balzac

[note: all dates and events are taken from the official NCAA report, along with selected newspaper stories]

May 2008: Saint Mary’s College (SMC) hires Keith Moss as an assistant coach on the basketball team. Moss has held a number of positions in the past, including as an assistant coach at San Jose State, as an associate head coach at the community college level, and as an assistant in Player Development for the Dallas Mavericks. Also, since the mid-90s, he has worked with a French sports agency promoting French players in the States. He helped bring Olivier Saint-Jean to SJSU, who would go on to become the 11th player taken in the 1997 NBA draft.

September 2008: The French sports agency contacts Keith Moss about Remi Barry, a French high schooler who is now living in Florida. Barry is enrolled at American Heritage in Plantation, which, at the time, is the largest private school in Florida. His basketball teammates include Kenny Boynton, who will go on to star at the University of Florida.

November 2008: Moss contacts Barry.

January 2009: Moss tries to place a French player in JUCO, but is unable to. The player will become known as ‘Prospect 3’ to the NCAA, though the NCAA never contacts him while they are investigating Saint Mary’s.

May 2009: Remi Barry returns to France. Barry is a mixed-race kid and his roommate at American Heritage, who Barry describes simply as a racist, abused him for having white friends – never minding that Barry’s mother is white. Barry spent most of his time in Plantation alone. Finally, at year’s end, he went back home to France. During his season at American Heritage Barry loses 30 pounds. “I didn’t like this country anymore,” Barry said. “I had been here on vacation, and I really loved this country. After this experience I was just very disappointed.”

June 2009: Moss arranges transportation for a French player (Prospect 2) to take the SAT in France. The player needed a ride, and Moss uses his French contacts to provide a ride to and from the test.

July 2, 2009: Moss's status with SMC changes from assistant coach to director of basketball operations. Unofficially, he states that the daily commute to SMC from Roseville, CA (about 1 hour and 45 minutes) is too much. As director of basketball operations, Moss is no longer able to recruit off campus.

Mid-August 2009: Mamadou, the man who runs the French sports agency, contacts Moss about getting Remi Barry back into the US. Moss inquires in the Sacramento area (Roseville is a suburb) and finds a family whose son stars for Del Oro High. Moss makes the arrangements for Barry to live with this family and play alongside their son at Del Oro. Moss calls Barry’s family to let them know about the arrangements with the host family. He places 7 total calls, and later says that 3 or 4 went unanswered.

August 21, 2009: Moss resigns (Ed. Note: is fired) from SMC. This date will later become all important in the investigation of violations at Saint Mary’s. His final paycheck was not issued for another 10 days.

August 22-31, 2009: Somewhere in this period the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) contacts SMC. The CIF informs the SMC athletic department that the placement of Remi Barry is under investigation. The CIF lists Keith Moss with the case. Saint Mary’s informs the CIF that they have not heard of Barry and that Moss is no longer an employee

August 30, 2009: Barry flies to California. The host family pays for the flight. Moss picks him up at the Sacramento airport and transports him to the host families home.

August 31, 2009: Saint Mary’s issues Moss’s final paycheck.

November 1, 2009: Saint Mary’s head coach Randy Bennett talks on the phone to Remi Barry for 25 minutes. During the investigation Bennett will point out that SMC never offered Barry a scholarship, and state that they never seriously considered him as a prospect.

November 2009: CIF calls the SMC athletic director to let him know that Saint Mary’s might be mentioned with Barry investigation. The athletic director does not pass this information on to Coach Bennett.

November 20, 2009: Moss takes Remi Barry to the SMC v Vanderbilt game. They are given free tickets from the staff to watch the game.

November 24, 2009: CIF releases letter stating high school infractions by Keith Moss, illegally placing Remi Barry at Del Oro.

Fall 2009 – Spring 2010: Moss takes Barry, who is unable to practice with his high school team, to pick-up games at the Saint Mary’s gym, which Gaels’ players often attend.

January 2010: The Remi Barry story appears in a local newspaper.

March 2010: The NCAA enforcement staff receives information about Remi Barry and Keith Moss from the NCAA Eligibility Center.

April and May 2010: Coach Bennett, Remi Barry and Keith Moss exchange texts and phone calls.

Spring and Summer 2010: Members of the NCAA Enforcement staff interview Barry, the host family, local coaches, CIF official and Moss

July 27, 2010: Keith Moss interviewed by the NCAA Enforcement staff.

September 2010: An anonymous source blows whistle on SMC players working out with basketball trainer. Working out with trainers is perfectly legal, but some of the players did not pay a fee, or did not pay it on time.

Early fall 2010: An official personal fitness volunteer, who has completed all the paperwork with the College required of volunteers, begins working out on weekends with SMC players.

Fall 2010: The NCAA Enforcement staff interviews players and officials at SMC. Interviews revealed that 9 total players participated in workouts, it began in 2009, and Bennett was fully aware. Players paid $100 apiece to participate, and records show that they paid between September and November 2nd. SMC compliance offer didn’t find out until November. The compliance officer had informed players that he needed to know about summer activities.

[18 months pass]

March 5, 2012: NCAA issues Notice of Allegations to SMC.

September, 2012: ESPN’s Andy Katz publishes the first story about the SMC investigation. In what would be considered a poor journalistic leap, if the leap only occurred once, Katz infers that a former assistant coach (not Moss) is the cause of the investigation and it has to do with Saint Mary’s pipeline of Australian players (Daniel Kickert, Patty Mills, Matthew Dellavedova, etc…). The story is later edited to make it less clear cut, but over the following six months Katz will repeatedly state his claims, none of which turn out to be true. No apology ever comes from Katz or his employers.

December 14, 2012: Coach Bennett appears before Committee on Infractions.

March 1, 2013: Saint Mary’s is hit with infractions by the NCAA. The staff, which had already self-imposed an inability recruit off campus this year, is restricted from recruiting off campus during 2013-14. Scholarships are reduced from 13 to 11 through 2016. No foreign trips are allowed for the next four years. They are not allowed to play in a pre-season or regular season “multi-team event” during 2014-15 or 2015-16. And no preseason skill instruction – something coaches have been fighting for for years and finally awarded last season – will be allowed for the next two seasons.

March 2, 2013: Katz writes that the NCAA penalties vs Saint Mary’s “lack teeth.”

March 7, 2013: Coach Bennet appears on a Bay Area radio show. States that the time and place will come for Saint Mary's to tell their side of the story.