NCAA investigating Georgia for potential sports agent violations
The NCAA will visit Georgia to investigate potential sports agent violations
The NCAA has already been to North Carolina and South Carolina
The probe centers on a Miami party that Georgia WR A.J. Green denies going to
The NCAA has informed Georgia that it will come to campus to interview a football player or players in connection with the ongoing agent investigation that already prompted visits to North Carolina and South Carolina. Georgia athletic department spokesman Claude Felton confirmed early Wednesday evening that Georgia compliance officials received notification from the NCAA late Wednesday afternoon.
Felton said Georgia officials had promised the NCAA that no one would comment on the contents of the investigation. A source said one potential interview subject is junior receiver A.J. Green, but if enforcement officials plan to ask Green about the now-infamous party in Miami Beach, Fla., on Memorial Day weekend that prompted the inquiries at North Carolina and South Carolina and an internal investigation at Alabama, they won't learn much.
Reached by phone Tuesday night -- almost a day before the NCAA contacted Georgia -- Green told SI.com that he did not attend the party. Green, who is considered on of the nation's best receivers, said a Georgia compliance official asked him Tuesday if he attended the party. Green said he spent Memorial Day weekend at home in Summerville, S.C.
"I never went to South Beach," Green told SI.com.
Earlier Tuesday, ESPN.com reported that Alabama officials are investigating rumors that defensive end Marcell Dareus attended the party. NCAA officials have interviewed several North Carolina players as well as South Carolina tight end Weslye Saunders. Investigators are trying to determine whether agents or financial advisors paid for the party. If someone other than the players footed the bill, any player who attended would be found to have accepted improper benefits and could be ruled ineligible to play for part or all of the 2010 season.
One piece of evidence in the NCAA's arsenal is a Twitter message sent by North Carolina defensive tackle Marvin Austin at 3:07 a.m. on May 29. "I live In club LIV so I get the tenant rate...bottles comin like its a giveaway," Austin wrote. LIV is a 30,000-square-foot club located in the Fontainbleau hotel in Miami Beach. Its Web site claims the club "offers its guests the definitive Miami nightlife experience." Austin's tweet quotes lyrics from a song by rapper Rick Ross.
The NCAA's investigation into the South Beach party appears to be separate from the investigation into an accusation that former Florida center Maurkice Pouncey accepted money from an agent or a runner in December 2009. Pouncey denied the allegation on Wednesday. University of Florida police Capt. Jeff Holcomb confirmed Tuesday that his department is investigating that accusation to determine whether someone broke one of Florida's laws governing agent conduct. An agent or runner found to have paid a college player can be charged with a felony. In an e-mail, Holcomb wrote that he could not comment on an open investigation.