AM Update
8:37 am
Thu April 12, 2012

AM Update: NCAA Cites Baylor, Labor Woes and Council Endorsements, Dental Board Faces Accusations

NCAA Finds Baylor Guilty of Infractions

On Wednesday, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) found Baylor University guilty of violating recruiting rules.

The NCAA mainly focused their three-year investigation on the men’s and women’s basketball teams.

In a statement by the NCAA, Baylor men’s basketball coach, Scott Drew, was cited for failure to monitor the program and will be suspended during the first two conference games.

Mulkey, was found guilty of "impermissible contact with two possible recruits and employing prospects at university camps." Mulkey is restricted from participating in off-campus recruiting and placing recruitment phone calls and will lose two scholarships.

The investigation found 738 recruiting text messages and 528 phone calls made by the men’s and women’s coaches to be impermissible. The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions reviewed over 900,000 phone and text message records.

Baylor University cooperated with the investigation and provided self-imposed penalties which the NCAA accepted. There will be no appeal and the case is considered closed.

Endorsements Highlight Labor Tensions at Cap Metro

Austin City Council member and Capital Metro board chair Mike Martinez is running for reelection against political newcomer Laura Pressley. Martinez has garnered the lion’s share of endorsements, but a few have eluded him: nods from Cap Metro union Amalgamated Transit Union 1091, which endorsed Pressley, and the Central Labor Council, which didn’t endorse.

The Austin Chronicle notes ATU 1091’s dissatisfaction with labor changes at Cap Metro lead the union to essentially block the CLC’s endorsement of Martinez – and ATU has more pointed words for Martinez:

[ATU 1091 President Jay Wyatt] says his union's support of Pressley is genuine, but that it also reflects the general distaste membership has for Martinez. "Mike Martinez has been behind this new labor structure from the beginning," Wyatt says. "He may say he's a Dem­ocrat, but he looks like a Republican …  We believe Laura Press­ley is a nice lady who will do well, but this is a protest endorsement. If a dog had run against Mar­tinez, we would have endorsed that dog."

 Martinez and Wyatt agree that the beef stems from an ongoing labor dispute at the transit authority; action by the Texas Legislature required the agency to change its contracting structure, and a recent decision from an arbitrator stated Cap Metro’s new contractor (not yet named) does not have to honor the employees’ current pension and retirement benefits.

Martinez tells the Chronicle that Cap Metro has offered terms beyond the arbitrator’s decision – an extra year of service credit to employees.

“The arbitration shows that Cap Metro is not obligated to offer the pension conditions we have as part of the settlement – still, we did it," Martinez says. "We've been in arbitration since March, and we've offered multiple concessions, including the one year of service, which will bring all employees one year closer to retiring with a full pension. They've rejected all settlement offers.”

The Texas Dental Board Faces Accusations of Inadequacy

From the Texas Tribune, the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners has been accused of being inadequate in their regulation of fraudulent dental clinics.

The Dental Board met with accusations of failing to discipline corporation-run dental clinics that commit Medicaid fraud as well as withholding negative information about dentists, says the Tribune. The accusations came from members with Texans for Dental Reform at a House Public Health Committee hearing yesterday

The Medicare fraud in question stems from corporate-run and owned dental clinics that pay a dentist to act as the owner by name. The clinics only serve Medicaid patients and “encourage over-utilization of Medicaid services by dictating a 'one-size-fits-all treatment plan' or setting quotas for the number of procedures that dentists should perform,” reports the Tribune.

In their defense, the Dental Board suggests that under their new management they are trying their best to fix these inadequacies within their agency while being underfunded and understaffed.