The NCAA's investigation of UConn's recruitment of Nate Miles may have relied on information that was provided to them in violation of federal law, according to a report by CBS. If you remember the details of the Miles case, much of it turned on a foot surgery for Miles that was paid for by former UConn manager Josh Nochimson. The details of that surgery should have been protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), and should have only been released if Miles gave consent, something he told CBS he did not do:
"I didn't authorize anybody," he said.
"I never told anybody to share anything," Miles said in a later interview. "I just couldn't believe they did. I thought they couldn't. I lost everything."
The NCAA wouldn't be liable for any lawbreaking -- HIPAA bans the disclosure of medical information, not the use of it, so if anyone is in trouble it will be the facility responsible for the surgery -- but this is another in a series of recent stories that reflects poorly on the NCAA and its investigators.
Former UConn coach Jim Calhoun apparently raised the spectre of a HIPAA violation while the investigation was underway and NCAA investigators denied that a HIPAA request was necessary to obtain the information they had. The facility where Miles had the surgery -- the Tampa Bay Bone and Joint Center -- didn't respond to CBS's requests for comment, but an attorney for Miles's surgeon did and denied any wrongdoing.
The CBS report is fascinating, and you should be sure to read the whole thing.