Leo Miles, Howard University's athletic director, yesterday called "grossly unfair" an article in Thursday's editions of The Washington Post in which Howard football players made charges against the program.
The complaints included the termination or reduction of scholarships, the threat of termination of scholarships, physical abuse by Coach Floyd Keith and one of his assistants, the forcing of an injured player to practice against doctor's orders, the running of an alleged mandatory offseason weight-training program in violation of NCAA rules, and the alleged failure to provide copies of grants-in-aid to several players, also in violation of NCAA rules.
Miles, Keith and Tom Perry, his assistant coach, denied all the allegations in the story.
Yesterday, Arnold Wallace, the University relations director, said Howard President James Cheek would defer to Miles on commenting about the story.
Miles said: "We feel that it was grossly unfair that this article was written in light of the fact that all the allegations were refuted in the same story . . .
"Howard University has always, and shall continue, to operate within the guidelines set by the NCAA, MEAC (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) and the university.
"It has been the policy of our athletic department to make it known to student-athletes, in writing, the conditions under which athletic-scholarship aid is awarded and revoked. The athletes making the complaints were aware of this policy. As was brought out of The Post story, we are not in violation of any NCAA regulations or guilty of any of the published allegations.
"As far as any incidences of physical abuse by our football coaching staff," Miles said in the prepared statement, "not a single player has ever brought a complaint of physical abuse to my attention.
"This, again, is unfortunate because, if there was, indeed, any physical abuse by the coaches, I am the individual with the authority to stop such behavior. As the athletic director, I will not tolerate any abuse of the players by a member of the coaching staff."