MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A former University of Minnesota golfer who supposedly wrote a letter accusing the golf team of violating NCAA rules vehemently denied writing the letter Friday. The University said its investigation would continue.
"I'll take a polygraph on a stack of Bibles 15 feet high," former Gopher Bill Emo told the Star Tribune newspaper Friday. "I'm totally flabbergasted, and just terribly disappointed. Not only personally, but I feel just as bad for the university."
The letter, received Monday by Athletic Director Joel Maturi, said that members of the team received free travel, rounds of golf and equipment. It identified the author as Emo, who lettered in 1989 and 1990.
Maturi said the letter's allegations need to be investigated, even though its origins are murky.
"That doesn't mean the allegations made were not accurate, nor does it mean we will not research it," Maturi said of the apparent fraud. "We have an obligation to look into this."
Emo telephoned Maturi and several Twin Cities media outlets Friday to say he was the victim of a hoax and had not written the letter. Emo said he first heard about the letter Friday morning when former Gophers teammates called him at his Atlanta home.
Maturi said he was convinced Emo had no part in the letter.
Asked his reaction, Maturi said: "Disappointment. Anger. Frustration. In some ways, relief, but unfortunately damage has been done. I'm just hoping we can undo the damage."
University General Counsel Mark Rotenberg said the school had previously received similar tips about wrongdoing in the golf program, and was checking those reports when the letter arrived.
The Gophers men's team won the NCAA national championship last spring, the first national golf title in school history.
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