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Report: Former SEC players accepted extra benefits

Troy Tennessee Football AP

As if we were not already occupied by the Oklahoma State story being revealed piece-by-piece by Sports Illustrated, we have yet another report out claiming a handful of players from the SEC had broken NCAA rules by accepting impermissible benefits before playing their final college football game. According to a report published by Yahoo Sports Wednesday, the former SEC players include Alabama offensive tackle D.J. Fluker, Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray, Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and receiver Chad Bumphis all reportedly accepted extra benefits that would have violated NCAA rules. Also on the report is current Tennessee defensive end Maurice Couch.

The report suggests former Alabama defensive end Luther Davis served as a middleman between NFL agents, financial advisers and top college football talent. The evidence to support the report’s claims come from a collection of text messages and financial records including money transfers and bank statements and more. The report says three agents and a financial adviser admitted to Yahoo they had engaged in providing benefits to Davis, who played for Alabama between 2007 and 2010, although Yahoo was unable to receive a comment from the former Alabama player.

There is no evidence at this time that any coaches at Alabama, Tennessee or Mississippi State were aware of the alleged violations in the report.  The NCAA will surely take a note of this report and could take a closer look in to any potential violations. If confirmed, Alabama’s 2011 and 2012 season national championships could be vacated in similar fashion to USC’s vacated BCS title during the Reggie Bush investigation, as Fluker was an active player during both seasons for the Tide. As Yahoo Sports notes, Tennessee and Mississippi State are programs on probation and could be at risk of harsher penalties if the NCAA could manage to confirm any of the information through their own investigation. Given the paper trail the Yahoo report was able to dig up, that could be a realistic result if the NCAA takes a closer look.

The report is very detailed and presents solid evidence to support the claims. Coupled with the ongoing story regarding Oklahoma State, and this is quite a week for off-field news. None of the stories comes as much of a shock given the state of the game today, but it is just another headache for the NCAA and various schools to have to work through.

UPDATE (6:50 PM ET): Alabama Athletics director Bill Battle has released a statement saying the school had been made aware of the details of the report and that Alabama was underway with their own internal investigation. Here is the full statement from Battle:

“We have been aware of some of the allegations in today’s story and our compliance department was looking into this situation prior to being notified that this story was actually going to be published. Our review is ongoing. We diligently educate our student-athletes on maintaining compliance with NCAA rules, and will continue to do so.”

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44 Responses to “Report: Former SEC players accepted extra benefits”
  1. taintedlombardis says: Sep 11, 2013 5:57 PM

    “There is no evidence at this time that any coaches at Alabama, Tennessee or Mississippi State were aware of the alleged violations in the report.”

    There never will be. Many layers of separation as to allow plausible deniability.

    Should the historically unscrupulous Tide recieve the death penalty?

  2. ldfontenot says: Sep 11, 2013 6:03 PM

    Just to set the record straight in the interest of accurate reporting, it is four former and one current students.

  3. mrlaloosh says: Sep 11, 2013 6:07 PM

    Who is the CNAA? Proof read much?

  4. jimbo75025 says: Sep 11, 2013 6:12 PM

    Well, as an admitted SEC homer this report is to say the least-disturbing.

    Until the NCAA and NFL get on the same page and the pros start banning athletes who it has been proven took money in college, then sadly it is a story we will keep hearing over and over again.

  5. swmocardsfan says: Sep 11, 2013 6:16 PM

    @mrlaloosh it is the same CNAA that Tyler Bay played in at Tennessee. If it was the NCAA though, well that’d be Tyler Bray that was the QB at Tennessee in that one….

  6. donth8thehorns says: Sep 11, 2013 6:18 PM

    CNAA and Tyler Bay? Wow

  7. dcroz says: Sep 11, 2013 6:24 PM

    I certainly hope this report is not true; that being said, we’ve seen very few of these ever turn out to be anything that can be verified. I always find it strange that news organizations–which have exactly as much subpoena power as the NCAA–can get their hands on private things like bank statements or text message records from people who for some strange reason feel a compulsion to turn them over to the press. Of course, when other reporters or the NCAA show up to ask questions of these same people, they deny everything. Who to trust…if anyone?

  8. Kevin McGuire says: Sep 11, 2013 6:27 PM

    Thanks for pointing out the CNAA and Tyler Bay. They come from an alternate universe in which all rules and regulations are actually followed.

    As for whether or not this turns out to be anything, the Yahoo report’s paper trail is pretty solid, for whatever that is worth.

  9. thefiesty1 says: Sep 11, 2013 6:30 PM

    Here we go again. A reliable source says….BS. Move ON!

  10. stabonerichard says: Sep 11, 2013 6:34 PM

    “I’m paid to win football games.”

  11. bigdinla says: Sep 11, 2013 6:47 PM

    Here come the people who don’t actually read the story. Nfl agents gave extra benefits to players. Agents not the schools. I know it is easier to hate than read, but give it a try.

  12. senorpapino says: Sep 11, 2013 6:50 PM

    Big difference between this and Manziel – the amount of evidence. Yahoo has mountains of financial and communication records tying thousands of dollars to these guys. Same rules violation as Reggie Bush – adios 2011 and 2012 NCs.

  13. watchfullhose says: Sep 11, 2013 6:59 PM

    SEC national championships are tainted?

  14. amosalanzostagg says: Sep 11, 2013 7:01 PM

    As an proud Bama grad, if it happened and Bama had knowledge of it and condoned it, then yeah, by all means vacate the NC’s. Cheating is cheating.

  15. mrtreyseven says: Sep 11, 2013 7:13 PM

    before all you go on saying the SEC cheats blah blah blah….notice they said the guy served as a middle man between agents and players not the school or boosters paying the players….and like I always said before you can’t buy athletic ability its God given, true enough the player can be bought or persuaded but what he does on that field, running, jumping, hitting, that’s all genetics…everybody can’t play football some aren’t built for the game mentally or physically…so I never agreed with stripping people of titles because regardless of what they did off the field you can’t touch what they did on the field unless they point shaved or had extra equipment etc.

  16. auburntigers34 says: Sep 11, 2013 7:21 PM

    John Phillips is an attorney and Alabama grad that gave Luther Davis a $10,000 check(that Yahoo has a photo copy of).

    he’s also the guy that made the Kristi Malzahn video that went viral on youtube a few years ago and he’s supposedly involved in the garbage with Manziel and A&M. small world, huh?

  17. unclemoobaa1911 says: Sep 11, 2013 7:26 PM

    In related news expect scattered darkness towards evening.

  18. tamerofforces says: Sep 11, 2013 7:40 PM

    I have to see how this plays out. It’s a tough deal, not much the schools can do. Aside from maybe Flucker, are any of those guys big time? Imagine what a really great player would be paid. I can see this happening a lot, everywhere. However, don’t think any program is involved.

  19. BrownsTown says: Sep 11, 2013 7:46 PM

    Last update was at 6:50 PM ET.

    I have an advanced copy of the next updates:

    UPDATE (9:23 PM ET): The compliance offices of all the respective schools have investigated these allegations and found them to be without merit.

    UPDATE (11:34 PM ET): The NCAA has accepted the findings of the schools in question. They now consider this matter to be closed.

    UPDATE (1:31 PM ET, January 23, 2015): The NCAA is not responding to allegations that Nevin Shapiro……………”

  20. bucrightoff says: Sep 11, 2013 7:54 PM

    Wouldn’t this be an awesome run on Wikipedia?

    NCAA Football National Champions

    2004 – Vacated
    2005 – Texas
    2006 – Vacated
    2007 – Vacated
    2008 – Vacated
    2009 – Vacated
    2010 – Vacated
    2011 – Vacated
    2012 – Vacated
    2013 – Vacated

    The NCAA: If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t winning titles.

  21. auburntigers34 says: Sep 11, 2013 7:56 PM

    epitome of a hypocrite

  22. roni says: Sep 11, 2013 8:00 PM

    Unpaid athletes want to get paid? News at Eleven!

  23. spudvol says: Sep 11, 2013 8:08 PM

    “Better call Saul!”

  24. gborange says: Sep 11, 2013 8:57 PM

    Who in their right mind would have paid Tyler Bray a single dime? He only brought shame to my beloved VOLS! Maybe the source was mistaken, maybe he was paid to forgo his senior year instead of being paid for good play.

  25. be4bama says: Sep 11, 2013 9:03 PM

    Never heard of Luther Davis.

  26. helladonks says: Sep 11, 2013 9:40 PM

    what im wondering is, what agent saw enough (if ANYTHING) in tyler bray to actually want to pay him?

  27. gborange says: Sep 11, 2013 9:48 PM

    @helladonks My thought exactly. Instead of an agent, It had to be a booster paying him off to skip his senior year. That being said…. They should have passed a hat around Neyland Stadium….. They’d got plenty donations for that

  28. tamerofforces says: Sep 11, 2013 10:04 PM

    Saban hasn’t been implemented in this. God, Auburn fans will do anything to try and get at him. It is funny seeing Auburn fans calling anyone else a cheat. On Sep 11, 2013 6:56 PM, “CollegeFootballTalk” wrote:

    > ** > auburntigers34 commented: “epitome of a hypocrite > > “

  29. joerevs300 says: Sep 11, 2013 10:35 PM

    Seriously, why does this shock ANYONE???

    Yes, the “player” gets anywhere from a $80-100K scholarship and I’m not saying that’s pocket change.


    The “major players” are raking in well north of $50M for their schools (if not more) not to mention multi-million and billion dollar TV contracts.

    If I told you that “If you invest $8M for a return of $100M, I’m betting 100/100 would take that.

    It’s LONG past time for players to start getting benefits. What kind, how much? That’s a sticky question.

    But the model that exists now simply cannot be allowed to continue.

    And as long as it does, “if you ain’t cheating, you ain’t winning”. It’s as simple as that.

  30. blackmike2 says: Sep 11, 2013 11:13 PM

    i have to wonder how can a school keep tabs on everything every player does, or does not do. some school makes a good faith effort to stay within the rules, counsel players to do the same, and yet when there are many hundreds of students/athletes at some schools, some of them are going to be easy pickins for those people with malintent. is part of the answer to pay college athletes, as joe revs300 asks? do we pay the johnny manziels more for their supposed superior abilities that lead to more wins and publicity than we pay the back-up punter? joer seems smart enough to not pretend to have all the answers, but he’s asking the right questions, that’s where we begin.

  31. bigbuckeye76 says: Sep 12, 2013 12:24 AM

    Nothing to see here….SECers, have no fear unless they find a few players selling their own possessions to pay for some tatts….then look out.

  32. blackmike2 says: Sep 12, 2013 12:54 AM

    and if there are serious questions asked by legitimate commentators like joerevs300 there is also drivel being dribbled by haters like bigbuckeye76. yeah, dude, if anyone can take the high road, it’s an osu person. oh wait did i miss something about, oh well never mind, we all know…old news.

  33. granadafan says: Sep 12, 2013 12:57 AM

    Just 5???? Come on, this the SEC. There would be 5 in one recruiting class on one team alone.

  34. Anoesis says: Sep 12, 2013 1:49 AM

    How much longer will the NCAA insist on penalizing schools, and their non-cheating players, for the sins of a few? And usually those few have moved on when these sins come to light.

    To expect any school administration to be able to monitor players 24/7 is absurd. Is the NCAA going to set up an NSA-like spying program to insure no student/athlete farts in a non-compliant manner?

    The NCAA is proving the validity of one definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. When your rules are broken year in and year out, and what you consider to be penalties don’t mitigate the problem, it is high time to find an alternative.

    Continuing to insist on slamming the barn door after the horse is gone, and then burning down the barn for good measure, doesn’t seem to be impeding the next violation. It merely exposes your stupidity as well as your lack of any sane policy.

  35. pricecube says: Sep 12, 2013 3:14 AM

    This could get interesting… There was no evidence that USC knew anything about Reggie Bush receiving benefits…

  36. monsterright says: Sep 12, 2013 9:09 AM

    If they get the USC treatment – Saban to TX will really heat up.

  37. 305fan says: Sep 12, 2013 9:52 AM

    Death penalty!!!

  38. thraiderskin says: Sep 12, 2013 10:32 AM

    Yahoo sports again, huh? The U fans say they(yahoo) are a bunch of liars… so I’ll wait for real evidence.

  39. lastdukestreetking says: Sep 12, 2013 10:34 AM

    While I’m sure these things happen sometimes at all big football schools, some skepticism is needed. Why would anyone pay Tyler Bray to play at their school? Perhaps other SEC schools paid homto go elsewhere in the conference :)

  40. 1952hd says: Sep 12, 2013 10:39 AM

    The NCAA does not sanction a national champion for major colleges. So if these schools are found to be in violation of rules, how can the NCAA vacate the BCS national championships of Alabama?

  41. 1952hd says: Sep 12, 2013 10:41 AM

    Does the news media (SI, Yahoo Sports, etc.) know what reporting news is as compaired to making news?

  42. Myron Mesecke says: Sep 12, 2013 11:29 AM

    No wonder the Aggies joined the SEC. The Aggies have a history of not thinking rules apply to them too.

  43. Deb says: Sep 12, 2013 1:44 PM

    Sometimes you have institutional corruption, sometimes you have corruption in the coaching staff. And sometimes it only takes one jackass to destroy what dozens of good people have built. The name Antonio Langham comes to mind.

    It’s ridiculous for an entire university to pay the price for one jackass’s greed or stupidity–as I’ve previously said about USC and Ohio State. And it’s sad that some fans are so consumed by hatred they’d revel in seeing the work of 60 rule-abiding players destroyed for one person’s sins. But that’s our world … and we all have to live in it.

  44. numbr4stuna says: Sep 12, 2013 1:52 PM

    And in other news, the sun rises in the east, and sets in the west.

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