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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

The FBI 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 described Mitchell in the affidavit as a sports “bookie” who has been engaged in illegal gambling activity from at least 1990 until 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.

The university president in his announcement Tuesday described at length what Parmley actually said to him about the investigation. The president said Parmley in October 2011 “shared with me that he was cooperating in an FBI investigation pertaining to a gambling case in Oklahoma City.”

“At that time, Ross told me that his involvement was solely due to a family connection to the person being investigated,” the president said. “For obvious reasons, I specifically asked Ross if he had ever gambled on college or professional sports. He told me that friendly wagers during personal golf games constituted the extent of his betting activities. I took Ross at his word, as I had no reason to believe there had been any acts of impropriety or noncompliance.

“At that time he was still interim athletic director at the University of Tulsa. Approximately three months later, in January of 2012, based on a record of exemplary service of more than six years, Ross was promoted to the position of athletic director,” the president said.

“Ross Parmley is keenly aware of NCAA regulations regarding compliance issues. Since being hired by TU in 2005, Ross has annually signed an official document certifying that he had no knowledge of any NCAA violations involving the University of Tulsa,” the president said

Upham, who is on a trip in South America, said Parmley's departure was effective immediately.

Parmley was placed on paid administrative leave Nov. 27, just hours after The Oklahoman first contacted Parmley's attorney for comment about the FBI affidavit.

Parmley was athletic director for the Norman Public Schools before coming to work at TU in 2005 — at first as the director of football operations. has disabled the comments for this article.
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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