And the plot thickens. Or the ship gets deeper. One of the two.
Tuesday brought word that Texas was facing NCAA scrutiny after it self-reported a pair of current but unnamed Longhorns had meals paid for by an NFL agent, a bylaw no-no. Now, as first reported by Orangebloods.com and subsequently confirmed by the Austin American-Statesman, it’s been found that a St. Louis-based agent, Justin Bingman, tweeted back in March of having dinners with four Longhorn football players.
And, unbelievably, Bingman tweeted them out by name at the time: defensive end Cedric Reed, defensive tackle Desmond Jackson and linebackers Steve Edmond and Jordan Hicks (pictured), all between March 22 and March 24. The tweets have since been deleted, but, through the magic of copy-and-paste, the American-Statesman has saved them for posterity’s sake:
“Just had a great dinner with @Ced_Reed88 He and his dad are great guys!” Bingman tweeted on March 22.
“Had dinner with @TexasBoy99tank and his Dad last night. They are both great guys and looking forward to the next time,” he tweeted about Jackson on March 23.
The next day, Bingman tweeted, “Had dinner with @SteveBigMoney33 last night, MLB for Texas. We all had a great time with many stories. #Longhorns”
Bingman’s next tweet read: “Just had dinner with a great young man that is going to do great this year for Texas @JHicks_3 #Longhorns #LonghornsNation”
Bingman, incidentally, is the agent for former UT offensive lineman Mason Walters. All four of the players mentioned by Bingman are seniors.
While Bingman acknowledged having dinner with the four players, it’s unknown who paid for the meals. If it’s the agent in all four cases, all four players could face anywhere from a one-game suspension after making restitution in the form of a charitable donation all the way up to (unlikely) having their eligibility stripped. It could also be a case where the UT compliance department is already aware of the four dinners and have determined that only two players had theirs paid for by the agent.
Regardless, it’ll be an issue first-year head coach Charlie Strong would prefer not to deal with during his first Big 12 Media Days next week.