Aug. 26, 2002
Washington Director of Athletics Barbara Hedges
"We wanted to take the time this morning to talk about the report on ESPN.com and the story that was in the Seattle Times this morning. Obviously we are very concerned about it.
"First, I will simply tell you that when I hired Lorenzo Romar and I talked to people across the country about Lorenzo, I couldn't find a person that would say an unpleasant word about him. The words that were used were 'honest', a 'person of high integrity' and a 'person that is absolutely a straight arrow and a straight shooter.' That certainly has not changed. That is who Lorenzo Romar is.
"Secondly, let me tell you that we have not heard, at the University of Washington, from the Pac-10 or the NCAA. We have not been notified about anything. What I have read in the paper is virtually all I know. Typically in the Pac-10, as you know, we work with the Pac-10 we don't go directly to the NCAA. If we have a self-report we go directly to the Pac-10 Office.
"What is protocol in these kinds of things? Protocol to me is extremely, extremely important. If a coach or an athletic director at another institution has reason to believe that a member of another institution's coaching staff or staff member is in any way violating NCAA rules, typically what I would do and what our Pac-10 coaches have been asked to do is to first call the other coach and say 'Coach this is what I think is going on.' Then the A.D. calls the other A.D. Then we are obligated as an institution to follow up. If we have violated an NCAA rule, then we are obligated to self report it and that is exactly what we would have done.
"It's really important to understand this. For us to pick up the paper, or hear this on ESPN.com without having any institution notify the University of Washington, it's pretty shocking.
"I sat down with Lorenzo this morning and with Dana Richardson who is our assistant (athletic) director for compliance. We went over everything. We will follow through and follow up with the Pac-10. If there are any violations, we will self-report those to the Pac-10. We are not reluctant to do that.
"I'm not going to discuss the allegations individually because I think that's inappropriate. But I simply want you all to understand what I believe the process should be and in this particular case it has not occurred."
Washington Men's Basketball Coach Lorenzo Romar
"Throughout your coaching career you are criticized because you didn't call a timeout at the proper time or you made a poor substitution here and there at the end of the game you are asked 'Coach what were you thinking?' That's something you live with.
"But when your integrity is questioned, that's something that really bothers me. All I can say is that I'm anxious to tell our side of the story that I won't do right now. We're going to allow the process to take care of everything at this point. When everything has been looked into and everyone has had their respective conversations with the proper people then I'll comment further. I'm really anxious to tell our side of the story."