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TU athletic director fired

The University of Tulsa's athletic director, Ross M. Parmley, was fired Tuesday. Parmley admitted to the FBI last year that he bet on college and professional football games, a source said.
by Nolan Clay and Robby Trammell Published: December 4, 2012

TULSA — The University of Tulsa's athletic director, Ross M. Parmley, was fired Tuesday for gambling on football games in violation of NCAA regulations.

University President Steadman Upham made the decision and announced it on the university's website about 7:30 p.m.

“TU is cooperating fully with officials from the NCAA to comprehensively investigate this matter and bring it to a fair and proper conclusion,” Upham said. “This (is) a difficult time for TU and we realize that our reputation is at stake.”

The termination comes a week after The Oklahoman disclosed Parmley, 39, had been identified by an FBI agent in a court affidavit as an admitted gambler. Parmley had held the position of athletic director since Jan. 19.

Parmley told FBI agents last year he bet on college and professional football games for years before quitting in 2010, a source told The Oklahoman. He is not facing any criminal charges.

The university president said Tuesday that Parmley revealed in October 2011 that he was cooperating in an FBI investigation. The president indicated that Parmley then denied betting on football.

The president said Parmley on Nov. 27 “admitted he had not been truthful in our 2011 conversation.”

“He was immediately put on administrative leave and, at my direction, TU notified the NCAA,” Upham said. “We subsequently launched our own internal investigation.”

Parmley's attorney, Derek Chance of Oklahoma City, declined to comment Tuesday night.

Chance said last week that Parmley never bet on any TU sports. The attorney also said last week Parmley intended to cooperate with the NCAA investigation.

The NCAA last week said it “opposes all forms of legal and illegal sports wagering because it threatens the well-being of student-athletes and can undermine the integrity of college sports.”

The FBI reported Parmley was identified as a gambler during an investigation of Teddy Mitchell of Oklahoma City.

A federal grand jury in September indicted Mitchell, two of his sons, six other men and a Costa Rican company. A trial is set for April in federal court in Oklahoma City.

Mitchell, 58, is accused in the federal case of operating an illegal gambling enterprise that took in millions of dollars. He is accused of both hosting illegal high-stakes poker games at his home and illegally taking bets on sporting events.

Mitchell has pleaded not guilty. His defense attorney has said he is a professional gambler who acted legally and paid taxes on his gambling income.

Parmley and five other men are described in the 84-page court affidavit as “admitted gamblers with Mitchell.”

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by Nolan Clay
Sr. Reporter
Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials,...
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by Robby Trammell
Assistant Managing Editor
Robby Trammell is news director for The Oklahoman and During his 41-year career, he has received numerous reporting awards and civic honors. With The Oklahoman’s investigative team, he won a first-place spot news reporting award for...
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