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Report Says Harrick Lied Repeatedly

November 14, 1996

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Jim Harrick lied to UCLA officials eight separate times during their investigation of a recruiting dinner, according to an internal report released by the school.

In addition, Harrick tried to get assistant coach Michael Holton to assist in a coverup, the report said.

The report was released Wednesday _ a week after Harrick was fired and replaced on an interim basis by Steve Lavin.

The fifth-ranked Bruins open the 1996-97 season against Tulsa in a Preseason NIT game next Wednesday night.

UCLA released the six-page report after media requests for it under the California Public Records Act.

Much of what was in the report was reported by chancellor Charles Young at the news conference called to announce Harrick’s firing.

Young said Harrick was fired primarily because he lied on several occasions, and tried to get an assistant coach to lie during an investigation into the expense report he filled out after a recruiting dinner Oct. 11.

Harrick had been told a day earlier to resign or he would be fired.

The report revealed that the bill at Monty’s restaurant in Westwood was $1,085 for a party of 13.

Considering the bill excessive, UCLA officials went to Monty’s to retrieve an itemized copy of the bill. They interviewed the waiter who served Harrick’s party, and based partly on that interview determined Harrick had lied about who attended the meal.

UCLA determined Harrick violated NCAA rules by paying for dinner for Bruin players Charles O’Bannon and Cameron Dollar, who were not part of the official party and not entitled to a free meal. O’Bannon and Dollar were sitting at a separate table.

The dinner was attended by three prospective recruits _ twins Jarron and Jason Collins of Harvard-Westlake High, who signed a national letter of intent to attend Stanford on Wednesday, and Earl Watson.

Harrick did not mention O’Bannon or Dollar on the reimbursement request. Instead, he listed his wife, Sally, and Holton’s wife, LaShell, as attending.

Sally Harrick arrived late and did not eat, and LaShell Holton wasn’t there at all, the report said.

O’Bannon and Dollar were initially suspended by the school, but they have since paid for their meals and been reinstated by the NCAA.

The report said the investigation started when Steve Salm, the associate athletic director, saw the $1,085 bill, and that Holton initially lied about the dinner but later told the truth.

Holton told officials that Harrick had told him to lie about his wife’s presence at the dinner, the report said.

Because he was fired for cause, UCLA has said it doesn’t owe him the $1.8 million remaining on the five-year contract he signed last year. Robert Tanenbaum, Harrick’s attorney, has said that Harrick might sue to get the rest of the money.

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