Interesting report out on CBSSports.com – very interesting for UConn basketball fans though, at the end of the day, it figures to have no tangible impact. We pass it along here.
CBSSports.com’s Dennis Dodd reports that federal HIPPA laws may have been violated by the Tampa clinic that provided information on Nate Miles’ surgery, and who paid for it, to t he NCAA for their investigation into UConn infractions.
The investigation resulted, of course, in loss of scholarships and a three-game suspension for Jim Calhoun, who served it in January 2012. Two health care attorneys, Dodd reports, say that federal laws regarding privacy rights on medical matters may have been broken. An attorney representing orthopedic surgeon Chris MacLaren of the Tampa Bay Bone and Joint Center, who is mentioned in the NCAA report, said there were no HIPPA violations.
It is not alleged that the NCAA broke any laws. This is from Dodd’s story:
While NCAA investigators apparently did not violate federal law, they were able to extract information to assist in the case that led to major penalties against UConn and former coach Jim Calhoun. Health care attorneys Frankie Forbes of Kansas City and Jill Jensen of Omaha offered their opinions after examination of documents in the UConn case obtained by CBSSports.com.
“If the physicians agreed to the [NCAA] interview and the subject matter was their patient and [they] did not have authorization from the patient, that would be a problem,” Forbes said. “If the subject matter at all was the patient, and the patient didn’t authorize it, that’s an issue. … That’s a violation of the HIPAA privacy right.”
From UConn’s perspective, all the sanctions involving the case are in the past and cannot be undone or rectified. Since UConn’s upcoming postseason ban is related to academics, not the Nate Miles case, no connection can really be made. That ship, too, has sailed.
But if it turns out that federal laws were broken, and the NCAA used ill-gotten information, then UConn officials can have the satisfaction of pointing out, again, that the NCAA needs to look in the mirror and could do a better job of fostering an atmosphere of compliance itself.