Posted September 11, 2013

Yahoo! Sports report: Five SEC players, including D.J. Fluker, received extra benefits

NCAA Investigations
D.J. Fluker

Former Alabama star D.J. Fluker is one of five SEC players named in Yahoo! Sports’ report. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Four former SEC football players and one current SEC player received illegal benefits before completing their college careers, according to records obtained through a Yahoo! Sports investigation.

Former Alabama offensive tackle D.J. Fluker, former Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray, former Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, former Mississippi State wide receiver Chad Bumphis and current Tennessee defensive end Maurice Couch were all implicated in the report stemming from financial and text message records belonging to former Alabama defensive end Luther Davis. Yahoo! Sports found that Davis acted as middleman between the NFL agent community, financial advisers and a few big-name college football stars.

From the report:

Davis declined to comment for this story. However, Yahoo Sports was able to authenticate text message records, Western Union fund transfers, banking statements, flight receipts and other financial material linking both Davis and the five college football players. Yahoo Sports also found that three NFL agents and three financial advisers engaged Davis in transactions totaling $45,550. The three agents were Andy Simms, Peter Schaffer and John Phillips. The financial advisers were Jason Jernigan, Mike Rowan and Hodge Brahmbhatt.

If the NCAA could prove that Davis helped filter benefits to eligible college football players following his own college career, that would violate NCAA Bylaw 12.3.1.2, which prohibits athletes from receiving benefits from agents or marketing representatives. That could have substantial impact on Alabama, as Fluker, who was a starting offensive tackle on the Crimson Tide’s 2012 national championship team, could be retroactively ruled ineligible. Tennessee and Mississippi State are also currently on probation for previous NCAA infractions.

Alabama, Tennessee and NCAA officials had no comment when contacted by Yahoo! Sports. Mississippi State said in a statement: “Mississippi State constantly educates our student athletes about agent related issues. We’ve also worked closely with the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office in recent years to strengthen the Mississippi Uniform Agent Act. As always, we will do our due diligence to evaluate any potential concerns.”

45 comments
JeffBockert
JeffBockert

The SEC has a billion dollar contract with ESPN. This is why they get "voted" into the title game every year, it's why Johnny Football admitted to breaking rules and is still playing and it's why nothing will happen now. These jokers have turned college football into pro wrestling.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

Every conference. Every major team .Please tell me anyone that would be surprised at this. I get such a kick out of some of the comments about the Oklahoma State story that act as if the allegations are an impossibility. This is universal in top college athletics. 

ChrisKern
ChrisKern

It's the SEC.  Nothing is going to happen. 

Ted3
Ted3

Is this going to cost UA two crystal trophies!?! No ... It won't cost them anything unless they find UA had knowledge of the transactions and allowed them to happen. Nowhere in the Yahoo article did they accuse or even hint that Bama had a "lack of institutional control", so the NCAA or BCS won't come down on UA nearly as hard as USC or tOSU unless they can find otherwise. I seriously doubt that will happen and the most likely charge will be the much lesser "failure to monitor" if even that. The same is probably true for Mississippi State and Tennessee, but I'd hope they'd give UT a break considering all they have been through since Kiffin destroyed the program.

DJ came from a very poor family. With that in mind and the fact that he had to balance between being a star football player while trying not to flunk out of school, it's not really hard for me to believe he would be tempted to take money. This isn't localized to the SEC either. It happens everywhere there are large programs with star players from financially challenged situations. I doubt many people wouldn't take money if they were in the same circumstance. However, it's easy for people to cast stones when they have never been in those shoes. 

btcvsolo
btcvsolo

Same argument as legalizing weed...just PAY the kids already!

Ciscos
Ciscos

So Alabama's administration is going to handle this?  That must mean the checks to the NCAA are in the mail.

1HatedOn
1HatedOn

Are they tUSC or the B1G? Long as you dont hinder the S.igning E.xtra C.onf from getting the most money or most crystal ball's your team's pretty safe when it comes to NCAA football infractions...

Steve22
Steve22

Looks like they are done with the Big 10 and on to another. It's almost impossible to monitor every athlete. While yhe schools should get in some trouble,it's too bad they can't punish the athletes making the bad decisions. Would be nice to partner with the NFL to at least punish the athletes that made it to the next level. I would think those would be the leaders on their college teams. Could help.

RichLGerhold
RichLGerhold

What! Alabama's football program is corrupt!? Never.

frangooch32
frangooch32

They are dirty. On the payroll and on juice. Nothing normal about the ACC.

tbennett76
tbennett76

I don't think the colleges should pay players.  What I believe is that they should be able to get whatever else compensation they can, for autographs, appearances, things like that.  Otherwise, the player is part and parcel property of the NCAA.  That is wrong.  If a third party wants to grease a kid, welcome to America.  Land of capitalism-for now at least.

CobyPreimesberger
CobyPreimesberger

well the one that could be the easiest to prove is Fluker, as you may have missed a tweet by him in april that Yahoo has on there site, where Fluker says he took money and then all of a sudden it was taken down and then fluker went to the old stand by of i was hacked

Steve Phillips
Steve Phillips

This is an easy fix. Players reimburse any and all perks received from agents and agents are banned from representing players. Most agents are scumbags anyway. Players should negotiate with their prospective employers directly and any bonuses should be deferred to a retirement account with the funds available at a certain age.

Agents are interested in one thing. Themselves! It is a scumbag profession that gets a commission on negotiating unbelievable contracts.

First1
First1

Let's just report on the players that received no extra benefits in college just so we can save some space on the website.

mcmilch
mcmilch

What happen to sport's publications reporting on sports? They are alienating their audience on by one.  Two years ago I deleted my SI book mark after they attacked Ohio State's program. I want to watch college football and read debates on this team versus that team.  I do not want to think well If Bama is not in it next year is the champion really the champion if they go undefeated like Ohio State did last year. Look at the rose bowl, Wisconsin back into and backed out of three rose bowl because they did not deserve to be there. When ever I hand my two kids money in college guess what? they take it! Go after the one who gives the money, punish them heavily and not the 18 year old.

JoeNash
JoeNash

They have killed the Golden Goose with all the corruption in the NCAA.  

Patrick.L
Patrick.L

Half-game suspensions all around!

Joe R2
Joe R2

Shocking?  Drew Rosenhaus has been doing this for years...

DaveDave
DaveDave

Nick's psychotic press conference "DON'T ASK ME ANY MORE QUESTIONS!"  really put my mind at ease.

yehonala04
yehonala04

At the end of the day will this and the OKST story  alter how business is conducted at any school in cfb ?

Cool
Cool

I posted on here earlier.. SI deleted it "by accident" I am sure.  But let me repeat this.  Yahoo Sports reports on violations of many players, from different schools.  Yahoo Sports did not pay a hack writer, with a grudge, to write a 5 part series on the evil doings of one school.  Yahoo Sports gives us a complete story without fan fare. SI has a lot to learn from Yahoo Sports.

Baconpizza
Baconpizza

They took away USC's crystal ball when Reggie Bush was ruled ineligible.  Alabama could potentially have 2 taken away.  The only question left is: How will the NCAA f__k this up?

md
md

SHOCKING!!!!!!!!!     NOT

LoveYouBlue
LoveYouBlue

@Rickapolis could you tell me w/ a straight face that this happens at rice, stanford, boston college, notre dame, duke, vandy, the military academies, etc.?

Martin M
Martin M

@Rickapolis I disagree.  I think a lot of colleges run clean programs.  I haven't seen evidence to the contrary and I think these organizations have too many people in them for them all to be able to keep a secret.  That's why then this happens I think it almost always comes out.  You could be right of course, but yours is pure speculation as is mine.  However without evidence, I'm going to go with the old adage that two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead. 

yomommasonmyjack
yomommasonmyjack

@ChrisKern  comment whenever you become relevant in the nnational championship hunt, otherwise quit trolling you old geeser

Blinker
Blinker

@Ted3  

Manziel wants people to walk in his shoes

mashley278
mashley278

@Ciscos considering they have an NCAA compliance staff on campus, and this was reported to the NCAA earlier this year...weeeeellll kinda ruins your little theory eh?

mashley278
mashley278

@1HatedOn  "WAAAAAAAAAA sniff sniff, cry, cry. My team can't beat the SEC to win the NC...they must cheat like Orego...and uh USC...and uh OSU...and uh Miam...."...keep whining buddy

mystafugee
mystafugee

@Steve Phillips agents are scumbags?  At least he has the kid's interests in mind, I can't say that about the schools and coaches.  

eddie767
eddie767

@Steve Phillips Your saying "most agents are scumbags",is like most ppl named Steve Phillips are dumb. It's not the job but the ethics,of the person.

mystafugee
mystafugee

@mcmilch Wow, you are either incredibly naive, stupid, or just both.  

Blinker
Blinker

@Baconpizza 

The ncaa will screw this up because the SEC are untouchable in their eyes.  

This whole thing is out of control.  I’ve said it before and I will say it again, there is no use\purpose for the NCAA now.  All they do is make rules that have not been followed for years and they do not even enforce the rules anymore.

JeffBockert
JeffBockert

@mashley278 @ChrisKern  Chris is right, ESPN and the SEC are too powerful right now. There are too many people on the payroll. The Pac 12 took a different strategy and built their own network, they will be the new money in a few years but for now, the contract between the SEC and ESPN make them the untouchables.

AllisGrace
AllisGrace

@mashley278 Since you compared the group of us in your other post to 8 year old girls, you do realize that your post above is how a 39 year old with the maturity level of an 8 year would write? I guess this shows that buried deep within all of us is a child that manifests itself in different ways. Some cry, some rant, but we all childish nonetheless.

mcmilch
mcmilch

@mystafugee @mcmilch Hey why all the anger? do you even like sports? or are you just full of hate? you have obviously never been on a college campus unless you were just walking through it to get to your walmart job. That said the point I was making is that not everyone AT college can has a parent who can afford to lay a hundred bucks in their hands every week and if your college football or basketball...player at a big time program making millions of dollars and you do not have a parent who can support you, taking money off an alumnus who in the back of their mind know something is not right about the big picture is not going to cause that athlete to stay up at night. He may be 6.6 and 350 pounds but he is still a 18, 19 years old. Again if you want to stop it you must punish the legal adult who is handing out the cash.