With Mark Cuban Making Media Rounds, What Is the Status of Mavs Investigation Following SI Exposé?
Mark Cuban has long been an outspoken voice in favor of sports gambling legalization, so it’s no surprise he has been making the rounds — the above spot on CNBC, an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show, an interview with ESPN — to discuss the ramifications of the Supreme Court’s decision.
Seeing him out there and opinionated as ever (he joked about how this would finally make people want to go to a baseball game; there was at least one time and as many as three that he wanted to buy an MLB team and was told no) reminded me that there has not yet been a conclusion to the investigation stemming from the Sports Illustrated story nearly three months ago about workplace misconduct in the Dallas Mavericks organization. Anecdotally, it seems like people don’t even remember that anymore.
The Big Lead asked the Mavs and the NBA for comment last night about whether they could share any findings, or what the timetable would be for when the investigation would conclude. In an email, a Mavs spokesperson said, “We don’t have anything to share at this point. Thanks.”
UPDATE: An NBA spokesperson sent comments made by Adam Silver on April 13th about the investigation:
"“The investigation is still ongoing. It’s been incredibly thorough. It includes interviewing every single employee of the Mavericks’ organization, plus every former employee who is willing to make themselves available to the investigators. “The latest I heard is they hoped to be done by early summer — June, early July time frame. From everything I’ve heard directly from the investigators, everyone has been completely cooperative. And by the way, it doesn’t just include interviews. It includes documents, it includes emails. “And that’s come directly from Mark Cuban. He’s told the investigators that and he’s told the league office that as well, that he is open book, and he’s demanding himself a thorough investigation. So we’re waiting for the outcome of that.”"
On February 20, Sports Illustrated writers Jon Wertheim and Jessica Luther published a lengthy story that detailed considerable alleged misconduct towards women in the workplace by former Mavs president and CEO Terdema Ussery, who had been with the organization for 18 years. Complaints to HR went nowhere. Ussery left the Mavs for Under Armour in 2015, where he lasted less than two months before abruptly resigning after complaints were made to HR about inappropriate conduct in an elevator; his reputation for behavior like this in the Mavs organization was apparently such an unkept secret in the Dallas community that a woman who got a job with the team was warned by members of her running club not to get in an elevator with him. Ussery denied wrongdoing to SI.
As the SI story pointed out, Mark Cuban has cultivated an image that he had eyes everywhere in the Mavs organization, once saying, “being that I’m so close to everything that’s going around, you can’t bullshit me.” Cuban, who was not accused of personal wrongdoing, denied knowledge of what SI called a “corrosive” office culture, fired the head of HR, and expressed horror about the allegations.
The Mavs hired the law firm Krutoy Law to conduct what they labeled as an “independent” investigation. I argued that the NBA should be conducting its own investigation because even if it is concluded that Cuban is totally innocent and had no knowledge of any of this stuff it would be really hard to believe that he should be exculpated by an investigation that he funded. The NBA said it would “closely monitor” the investigation but at least publicly has not launched its own. How long until we find out the results of the Mavs’ own investigation?