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Friday, September 22, 2023

Men's Basketball

Lawsuit could impact Joseph Young’s transfer to Oregon

Michael Young, a former Phi Slama Jama member, filed a lawsuit against UH on Tuesday. | 1983 Houstonian

Michael Young, a former Phi Slama Jama member, filed a lawsuit against UH on Tuesday. | 1983 Houstonian

A lawsuit filed by former UH men’s basketball director of operations Michael Young could have ramifications for his son’s transfer to a Pacific-12 school.

Young filed a civil case in Harris County District Court that alleges that UH asked him to “engage in the illegal act of accepting money without performing a service and to violate NCAA rules” when he was reassigned to a community service role this off season, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Young signed a new contract, which would have went into effect on June 1, but later changed his mind. Young’s son Joseph, the Cougars’ leading scorer last season, decided to transfer from UH to Oregon.

If the NCAA decides to act regarding the lawsuit it could affect  whether Joseph is allowed to play without sitting out for a year.

“Due to member rules, we cannot comment on potential investigations,” an NCAA spokesperson said.

In the lawsuit, Young said he was told by UH deputy athletic director Darren Dunn that his contract would not be voided if Joseph continued to play for the Cougars and did not transfer, the Chronicle reported.

Young said he thought NCAA rules were violated.

“I was told as long as my son is at the University of Houston the contract would be good,” Young said to the Chronicle.

In a statement, UH denied the charges.

“University practice is to not comment on pending litigation, however the University is looking forward to vigorously defending its actions,” the statement said.

The NCAA rule Young could be referring to is Bylaw 11.4.2, which was enacted in 2010 before he joined head coach James Dickey’s staff in 2009.

Bylaw 11.4.2 states “In men’s basketball, during a two-year period before a prospective student-athlete’s anticipated enrollment and a two-year period after the prospective student-athlete’s actual enrollment, an institution shall not employ (or enter into a contract for future employment with) an individual associated with the prospective student-athlete in any athletics department noncoaching staff position or in a strength and conditioning staff position.”

Young’s initial contract was enacted before the rule was adopted, but a different position within the program may not be grandfathered in as his first contract was, wrote former compliance officer at NCAA Division I schools John Infante in the Bylaw Blog.

“With a new position and new contract, especially given the accusations made by Michael Young that he would have the job while Joseph continued to play for Houston, the new position may very well be prohibited by Bylaw 11.4.2,” Infante wrote.

“If the NCAA agrees with Michael Young that his new position violates NCAA rules, he may not need to win the lawsuit at all,” Infante wrote. “His son’s transfer will be necessitated by the fact that Joseph is permanently ineligible at Houston.”

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