Copyright 2012, The Oklahoman
The athletic director suspended by the University of Tulsa because of gambling allegations did not bet on any TU games, his attorney told The Oklahoman on Wednesday.
Ross M. Parmley also will cooperate with an NCAA investigation of the allegations, the attorney said.
TU on Tuesday placed Parmley, 39, on paid administrative leave after the FBI identified him in a court affidavit as an “admitted gambler.” 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 charge but sports wagering is a violation of NCAA rules. TU notified the NCAA Tuesday about the gambling allegations, a university spokeswoman, Kayla K. Acebo, said.
“It is the intention of Mr. Parmley to cooperate with any NCAA investigation,” said Parmley's attorney, Derek Chance of Oklahoma City. “Additionally, there has not been an allegation of Mr. Parmley betting on any sport associated with the University of Tulsa, nor was any such bet ever made.”
Parmley intends to meet soon with an NCAA representative, the attorney said. “It will be some time in the next week or so,” the attorney said.
Parmley was named athletic director 10 months ago. He has worked for the university's athletics department since 2005.
In a statement Wednesday, TU said, “As this is an ongoing investigation, The University of Tulsa will not be offering any comment regarding any issues associated with this matter other than we are fully cooperating with the NCAA.”
The NCAA said Wednesday it cannot comment on current, pending or potential investigations.
It also stated: “The NCAA 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. NCAA rules do not allow student-athletes, athletics staff members, university staff with athletics department responsibilities or conference office staff to engage in sports wagering on any level — college, professional or otherwise — in which the NCAA holds a championship.”
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.
Parmley and five other men are identified in an 84-page court affidavit as “admitted gamblers with Mitchell.”
An FBI special agent reported in the affidavit that Mitchell deposited a $1,782 check from Parmley into a bank account in 2009. The agent reported the check appears in Mitchell's records as a gambling payment.
The FBI agent describes Mitchell in the affidavit as a sports “bookie” who has been engaged in illegal gambling activity from at least 1990 to November 2010 when his wife was brutally beaten to death.
Parmley admitted to the FBI agents that he collected from Mitchell when he won bets and paid Mitchell when he lost, the source told The Oklahoman.
He told the FBI he placed his bets on the Internet.
Parmley also claimed in the FBI interview in October 2011 that he had informed TU officials he was cooperating with the investigation, the source said.
Parmley's attorney declined to comment Wednesday on that issue.
The university could face serious sanctions if the NCAA determines officials promoted Parmley to athletic director even though they knew of his gambling.
Former TU athletic director Bubba Cunningham declined to comment Wednesday. He is now athletic director at the University of North Carolina.
“As long as there is an ongoing review of whatever is going on there with the AD, he's not going to comment,” said UNC spokesman Steve Kirschner.
Cunningham left TU in mid-October 2011 for the North Carolina job. A day later, Parmley was named TU's interim athletic director and served in that position for three months before his promotion.
The turmoil at the university comes as it prepares to host the Conference USA football championship game Saturday.