Howard University Athletic Director Leo Miles said yesterday he had never intentionally violated any National Collegiate Athletic Association rules during his eight years at Howard.
The NCAA has charged Howard with about 30 rules violations in football, basketball, soccer and wrestling. Howard athletic officials and coches are scheduled to respond to the charges at a meeting of the NCAA Infractions Committee Friday in Boston.
Carl Anderson, Howard vice president for student affairs, said the charges centered in the areas of recruiting and athletes' eligibility.
Miles said he was reluctant to speak about specific allegations at this time, "because we have to go up there." However, Miles did respond to two allegations - that Howard paid pre-enrollment application fees of prospective student-athletes and that he arbitrarily reduced or took away athletes' scholarships without due process.
"I've never doen anything wrong that I know is wrong," said Miles. "You read (the rules) and you interpret, and you do what you think is right."
A case in point concerns the pre-enrollment application fee, an offense Anderson confirmed has been charged against Howard.
"you can do it if your school normally does it," Miles said. "The policy has been in existence at the university for some time."
An NCAA enforcement official speaking in general terms, said: "In practice it must be demonstrated that athletes and nonathletes receive it based on the same criteria. It can't be a secret, but a policy of the institution and published somewhere."
The NCAA will neither confirm nor deny that it has investigated Howard or charged the school with any rules violations.
Howard's problem were brought to light after allegations were made by John Organ, a former Howard wrestling coach, who is now football coach and athletic director at Bowie State College.
Organ alleged that Miles had arbitrarily, without due process as provided by NCAA policy, reduced or taken away scholarships from three wrestlers.
"I do nothing arbitrarily," Miles said. "There weren't three taken away. I can't take any away."
When asked whether athletes' grants had been reduced, Miles said. "I'm not making any more comments about anything."
Howard, which in 1968 had a $120,000 athletic budget and no scholarships, has a program today with nearly a $1 million budget, according to Miles. It is estimated that the school subsidizes athletics by more than $750,000 annually.
Twice during Miles' directorship the NCAA had cited Howard's nationally ranked soccer team for eligibility violations. The school was placed on one year probation in 1973 and its 1971 NCAA title vacated because the school used ineligible players.
At the time, Howard President James Cheek charged that NCAA rules were ambiguous and that Howard had been investigated simply because it was a predominantly black school.
Earlier this month Howard's soccer team was banned from NCAA postseason competition for two years for using a player last season who was ineligible for NCAA tournament play because he was a transfer student.
Under NCAA rules, Howard could use the player but had to notify the NCAA prior to the season that he was ineligible for postsean play. According to Miles, Howard discovered the fact the player was a transfer student on the eve of the 1977 NCAA tournament. Howard then notified the NCAA and withdrew from the tournament.
Asked what he thought about the current NCAA charges, Miles said:
"I know better than to think anything now, because I didn't think they'd do what they did with soccer. What information we had, we reacted properly with and when additional information came in, we reacted properly. But we still got the same (maximum) penalty."
Asked what allegations were directed at him specifically, Miles said:
"As director of the program, all of them are directed at me. You are responsible for what happens . . . If you're president of the United States and something happens to somebody in your Cabinet, they jump on you. You're the man."