OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Tulsa athletic director Ross Parmley was placed on paid leave Tuesday as the university investigates allegations that he may have been involved with an alleged bookie in Oklahoma City.
University President Steadman Upham issued a brief statement saying Parmley will be on paid administrative leave during the investigation. Upham didn't offer details about whether the allegations involved sports betting or other forms of gambling that may or may not be illegal in the state.
The 39-year-old Parmley was hired at Tulsa in January after serving three months as interim AD. He previously served as Tulsa's director of football operations and assistant athletic director for football, according to the school's athletic department website.
His lawyer, Derek Chance, said Parmley is cooperating with investigators.
Upham said the university's executive vice president, Kevan Buck, will be the acting athletic director while Parmley is on leave. A school spokesman declined further comment.
Parmley's name was linked last week to Teddy Mitchell of Oklahoma City, who is accused of running an illegal gambling operation. In recently unsealed court documents, Parmley is described as an "admitted gambler with Mitchell," who is awaiting trial in April.
Parmley has not been charged in the case, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Bob Troester. The prosecutor would not comment on whether Parmley may testify for prosecutors during Mitchell's trial.
Chance stressed that Parmley is not the focus of the investigation.
"I just want everyone to know that he is not a target or a subject of the investigation. But he has cooperated with federal authorities in the investigation of alleged gambling activities by Teddy Mitchell," Chance said.
The Oklahoma City-based attorney said he was trying to keep up with developments in the case. When asked if Parmley expected to testify at Mitchell's trial, Chance said: "Therein lies some of the struggle." He declined further comment.
The affidavit unsealed last week alleges that a check for $1,782 from Parmley, along with other funds, were deposited into one of Mitchell's account in late 2009.
Mitchell, 57, and his two sons are among nine people named in an 81-count federal indictment unsealed in September. All are accused of participating in an illegal gambling business that operated poker games, took sports wagers, used an illegal gambling website and laundered illegal gambling proceeds.
Mitchell, who prosecutors allege was the leader of the operation, has pleaded not guilty.
Authorities say Mitchell has been under investigation for more than two years as state and federal grand juries looked into the alleged criminal activity, as well as the November 2010 beating death of his wife, Julie Mitchell, whose body was found inside the couple's Oklahoma City home. Her death remains unsolved.
According to the NCAA website, the organization's rules "prohibit student-athletes, and athletics department, conference office, and NCAA national office employees from wagering on intercollegiate, amateur, and professional sports in which the association conducts championships."