Work in Sports
Porter ruling could come Wednesday
Posted: Tuesday March 07, 2000 07:10 PM
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) -- An investigation of suspended Auburn star Chris Porter, who said he took $2,500 from an agent to help his mother, reportedly could be reviewed by the NCAA in time for him to be reinstated for the Southeastern Conference tournament.
Auburn University officials expect a ruling from the NCAA on Wednesday after submitting the results of their week-long investigation, The Birmingham News reported Tuesday.
The investigation by Auburn and the SEC did not uncover any other improper payments or activities by Porter beyond the $2,500 he admitted taking, according to the newspaper.
A sports agent and his middleman were behind the improper payments, according to the investigation's findings.
The senior All-American has been out since Feb. 27 when Auburn officials suspended him for accepting $2,500 worth of money orders. The Tigers (21-8) are 0-3 without him heading into the SEC tournament and have lost four straight. They will face the winner of Thursday's game between No. 11 Florida and Mississippi.
Nate Cebrun, a runner for sports agents, has said he arranged for a wealthy Las Vegas woman to loan the Auburn forward money. The investigation concluded that Cebrun was working with an agent, who was named in the report. The paper did not identify the agent.
Auburn's NCAA compliance officer, Mark Richard, said he expects a finding this week.
"They know we need an answer and that Chris needs an answer," Richard told the Montgomery Advertiser. Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor is considering legal action against Cebrun and the agent under the state's sports agent regulatory law. A conviction is punishable by a maximum possible penalty of 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
The Alabama Senate has passed a resolution urging prosecution if it is determined a sports agent acted improperly with Porter. The Alabama House is expected to pass a similar resolution Wednesday.
Porter told school officials he needed cash to keep his mother from being evicted from her home.
"My contention all along has been Chris has cooperated, and with his cooperation ... I think it will be helpful with his reinstatement," Auburn coach Cliff Ellis said. The NCAA can accept the findings of Auburn and the SEC and determine the three-game suspension is enough, extend the suspension or ask for more information.
Auburn could appeal an unfavorable ruling.
If the NCAA decides to reinstate Porter, he will be eligible to return after paying back the $2,500. Ellis has said that will be done.