A new potentially distracting story about Haith is gaining traction today, as CBS Sports college basketball reporter Jeff Goodman tweeted this morning that the University of Pittsburgh is upset with Mizzou and Haith for allegedly tampering with Panthers freshman center Khem Birch.
Goodman published a series of tweets speculating that Pitt might release Birch, but they wouldn't allow him to leave for Mizzou. One message read, "Told, per sources, that Pittsburgh has not given a release for Missouri to recruit Khem Birch. Source said Pitt thinks Mizzou was tampering." He then reported that the Tigers never officially asked for Birch to be released. Goodman added, "However, Pittsburgh would not have likely released Birch to Missouri because there was feeling Mizzou was messing with Birch and his people." Birch announced in December, after just 10 games with Pitt, that he planned on leaving the school.
Haith later told Sporting News that he didn't tamper with Birch. "We haven’t asked for a release. We haven’t done anything with the kid," he said. The Columbia Tribune, however, points out that as recently as December 19, speculation was rampant that Birch would be the latest high-profile player Haith brought to Columbia.