KINGSTON – While still under investigation, Daniel E. Doyle Jr., former executive director of the Institute for International Sport at the University of Rhode Island, has published a book.
Doyle’s novel, “An African Rebound,” is due out April 9, according to Amazon.com.
The book is described as “A deep, thought-provoking novel of love, loss, civil unrest and basketball.” According to the book’s description, the novel is set in 1989 and tells the tale of Jim Keating, a former college basketball coach who lost his wife to cancer, and his house to bankruptcy, “has hit absolute rock bottom.”
The story goes that Keating then returns to his hometown of Worcester, Mass.
“Word gets out that the legendary Jim Keating has returned home, and everyone is eager to see him, despite what they’ve read in the news,” the description reads. “Soon, Jim finds himself in Burundi, Africa, where he is to create a basketball league that will bring two warring tribes – the Hutus and the Tutsis – together peacefully.”
Jim Calhoun, former head coach of the University of Connecticut men’s basketball team, among other sports personalities, reviewed the book.
“As usual, Dan Doyle hits the ball out of the literary park again,” Calhoun wrote. “This book is a great story that examines society and culture. As a basketball coach, an educator, and as a person, [I feel] this is a must-read.”
In real life, the state police have been investigating Doyle for more than a year after Doyle came under public scrutiny and faced allegations of impropriety after he reportedly mishandled a $575,000 legislative grant to the institute.
The grant was allocated in 2007 for new construction on the institute’s property, which remains unfinished.
“It is and ongoing, active investigation, but we have an end game,” State Police Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell told The Narragansett Times in late February. “The picture is pretty clear on what transpired, but we haven’t gone any further than that at this point.”
O’Donnell further stated that until the investigation is officially complete, any evidence can be researched. He stated that there is no set date for the criminal investigation’s release.
“As we continue to investigate the issues, you may locate evidence that sometimes leads to other evidence,” O’Donnell said. “We need to continue to gather evidence, which is voluminous and time consuming. It has been a priority investigation since the day it opened, and we are coordinating our effort with the Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.”
The institute has been the center of a complex network of fiscal and political abuses committed by Doyle, who had served as the institute’s executive director since 1986, but stepped down in February 2012 after an audit report conducted by state Auditor General Dennis Hoyle revealed the unfinished state of the institute’s residential and coaching center, for which a state grant of $575,000 was given in 2007.
Although Doyle has since repaid a further debt of $380,846 owed to URI, numerous allegations of purposeful mishandling of the Institute’s finances and overall program under his tenure have arisen, including federal tax liens that were assessed to the institute and filed in 2011, one totaling approximately $72,000. On May 30, 2011, $21, 709 was also attached to the institute for unpaid payroll taxes, and $50,000 on July 4 for unrelated business income.
URI has also been criticized for its relationship with the Institute. A 1988 verbal agreement between Doyle and the university, which stipulated that although Doyle was recognized as an employee, his salary and benefits would be reimbursed through the state and the institute, was formalized in writing on July 1, 2000. The auditor general’s report cited the practice as questionable and suggested it should not be conducted in such a way in the future.
In May 2012, URI hired Providence Attorney John A. MacFayden to provide additional legal counsel for the university to assess its other public and private partnerships and to identify potential vulnerabilities.
As of February 2013, Doyle and his actions at the institute remain under investigation.