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STEWART EXPECTS TO BE CLEARED

SHARE STEWART EXPECTS TO BE CLEARED

Missouri basketball coach Norm Stewart said Wednesday that a fair hearing would clear him of charges that he provided the NCAA with false and misleading information.

Stewart called the evidence against him weak and based on statements from "disgruntled individuals" who have "publicly expressed a bias against the University of one or its coaches."Stewart spoke from a prepared statement at a news conference at the office of his Kansas City attorney, Steve Owens. They were his first public remarks since the NCAA's latest allegations. He did not name the "disgruntled individuals."

"I am willing to assume at this point that the NCAA process will provide me with a fair opportunity," Stewart said. "If the NCAA gives me a fair hearing, I am confident I will prevail against the allegation. But, if the NCAA process does not provide me with a fair hearing, I intend to go beyond that process to be heard."

Stewart wouldn't specify what his next step might be, saying, "I think whatever's necessary. But let's let the process work."

Owens said: "Norm's not going to stand still and let someone call him a liar as a result of an unfair process."

Stewart denied that he misled NCAA investigators looking into allegations of wrongdoing at Missouri.

Calling developments in the 18-month investigation a "little bizarre," Stewart said he gave the university's investigators information that they did not pass along to the NCAA. He said he did not know what Missouri's plan for contesting the serious allegation against him "happens to be."