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An NCAA investigator met recently with a former New Mexico player, but school officials deny the Lobo basketball program that was ripped by scandal 12 years ago is again under investigation.

Athletic director Gary Ness and basketball coach Dave Bliss held a news conference Wednesday to discuss the reported meeting between former player Kurt Miller and NCAA investigator William Saum."The university is not the target of an NCAA investigation," Ness said. "We have received no formal notification from the NCAA, and we have no reason to believe any investigation is warranted."

Miller, who played for the Lobos from 1987-1991, did not immediately return telephone messages left by The Associated Press at his Albuquerque home. But Miller told the Albuquerque Journal he had met with Saum.

"I met with the man about two weeks ago . . ." Miller said. "I really don't know if he was planning to carry it further, but he did say he's going to try to talk to other players."

Ness said the athletic department recently completed a self-study that focused largely on NCAA compliance and found no wrongdoing.

Ness said he spoke by telephone Tuesday with Rich Hilliard, an officer at the NCAA headquarters in Shawnee Mission, Kan. Ness said Hilliard told him the school would be notified if further action is warranted.

"It appears to be nothing more than rumor or speculation," Ness said. "The NCAA was not in town to investigate the University of New Mexico. I talked with their enforcement staff and they have confirmed that with me."

David Berst, the head of the NCAA's enforcement division, was non-committal.

"We get hundreds of inquiries," Berst said. "If there is an inquiry, that does not mean that there is an investigation. We do make calls and talk to people to see how valid they are."

Bliss said he didn't know why the NCAA would want to speak with Miller.

"There's hundreds of these rumors that the NCAA follows up year in and year out," Bliss said. "We'll help in any way we can. I care far too much about Lobo basketball to do anything that would cause a problem. I can't do much about a smear campaign."

Miller said Saum's visit apparently resulted from an anonymous call to the NCAA.

"From what he (the investigator) said to me, it was anonymous," Miller said. "It's not a conspiracy by me. "I am not the subject of the investigation."

Miller, a 6-foot-4 forward from Ogden, Utah, who played at Ben Lomond High, was recruited to New Mexico by former coach Gary Colson but played his last three years for Bliss. Miller averaged 5.6 points and three rebounds during his career.

Miller was a starter the first part of his senior season, but played sparingly the rest of the year. Last spring, Miller boycotted the team's postseason awards banquet, even though he was to receive an academic achievement award.

Bliss, who was at odds at times with Miller last season, was asked if he thought the situation was a case of sour grapes.

"I do. It's more a case of how things are in our society now," Bliss said. "It's an unfortunate part of today's sporting scene."