TOLEDO -- The University of Toledo is on the defensive over allegations one of the senior running backs helped orchestrate a point shaving scheme to influence the outcome of football and basketball games.
At a news conference on Monday, Athletic Director Mike O'Brien said he was shocked and disappointed to hear of the allegations against senior running back "Scooter" McDougle. O'Brien said they first learned of the FBI's investigation on Friday, from University President Dr. Lloyd Jacobs.
On Friday in Detroit, the FBI charged McDougle with recruiting fellow football players and UT basketball players to shave points and alter the outcomes of games. With that information, an Iraqi man in Michigan allegedly would place bets on the games.
McDougle is suspended from the team, but News 11 has been told he is still a student.
"The University of Toledo football program is committed only to the highest standards of ethics. We spend a lot of time talking to young men about how to behave on and off the field, and we're committed to that, and our football program will cooperate fully in this manner," said Football Coach Tom Amstutz. Amstutz did not take any questions after reading his statement.
O'Brien and other university leaders say these are still allegations at this point, and they will not speculate on how far-reaching this could get. But O'Brien said they are all taking these allegations very seriously and will fully comply with every possible authority in this case. "You know our student athletes are a member of our family just as a staff member what have you, so sure there's disappointment, obviously, that we're having this today and that these allegations arose, but sure, it's a disappointment," said O'Brien.
That includes the NCAA, if they get involved.
At the news conference, the UT men's basketball coach talked about his reaction. "I was informed by telephone call by Mike O'Brien on Friday about the allegations, and I said hopefully by tomorrow, I'll have a chance to meet with the team and go from there," said Coach Stan Joplin.
UT President Dr. Lloyd Jacobs has ordered an internal investigation into the university's system of compliance with anti-gambling regulations, and if student athletes are getting the warning signs. Meanwhile, the university has made student-athletes and all its sports teams off-limits.