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Former UVA Coach Leitao, DePaul Sanctioned

Some odd stuff in this story.

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Big East Basketball Tournament - First Round
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 13: Head coach Dave Leitao of the DePaul Blue Demons looks on against the St. John’s Red Storm during the first round of the 2019 Big East men’s basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 13, 2019 in New York City.
Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images

We’re on record as not being big fans of Dave Leitao. At Virginia his public behavior verged on abusive. You wonder what he was like behind closed doors.

Now at DePaul, Leitao has been suspended for three games next season and DePaul got three years after a staff member moved in with a recruit for two weeks to help make sure he could gain eligibility. From ESPN:

“Per the NCAA release, a former associate head coach, who received a three-year show cause order, arranged for the assistant director of basketball operations to live with a prospect who’d failed to meet NCAA eligibility requirements and had to take additional measures to complete the coursework to gain eligibility. The assistant director of basketball operations lived with the prospect for two weeks.”

Could we believe that Leitao didn’t know about this? We doubt it frankly but of course that’s possible. However, DePaul is also right when it says this is a relatively minor violation certainly compared to some other recent cases. Essentially it’s baby-sitting, an old practice where staff watches a players every move , following them to class, to study hall and the library. The innovation is baby-sitting a recruit. That’s a bit different.

But that’s not what caught our eye here. What caught our eye here? This caught our eye here: “Brian Bowen Sr. also testified he was paid $5,000 to $8,000 per month to have his son play for Chicago’s MeanStreets program, which was led by DePaul assistant Tim Anderson at the time. Bowen Sr. did not name Anderson by name. But he answered “yes” to questions from Dawkins’ defense attorney, Steve Haney, about whether he accepted $1,500 from Anderson, another $1,400 to live in a condo by the lake while his son played at La Lumiere and $5,000 from former NFL player Tai Streets, who was affiliated with Meanstreets.“

Wow. And he appears to have kept his job too. In the ESPN article linked above, the NCAA’s Dave Roberts says that “the DePaul program needed size.”

And that reminds us about the recent curious move of Mark Hsu from Western Kentucky to DePaul, which saw a promising big recruit come with him too.

Our general principle here is that of course the head coach knows what’s happening in his program. There are exceptions - we don't think Rick Pitino knew prostitutes were being brought into the dorm that was named for his brother-in-law who died on 9/11 for example - but in general? Yes, the head coach knows.

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