Charles Robinson strikes again. Yahoo Sports is reporting five current and former SEC players accepted improper benefits. The players are former Alabama OL D.J. Fluker, former Tennessee QB Tyler Bray, current Tennessee DE Maurice Couch, former Mississippi State DT Fletcher Cox and former Mississippi State WR Chad Bumphis.
The report claims that former Alabama DL Luther Davis was serving as a “conceierge” between NFL agents and the above players. He reportedly distributed at least $12,700 in benefits to the five players, according to the report. Davis also sent an email $33,755 listed in expenditures under “D.J. Fluker invoice.”
Yahoo delves heavily into documents and details. Your take away nugget is Tyler Bray had a member of his “crew” named Schroder (@matty_ice1) who claims to be “in The Empire Business” pick up a $700 Western Union transaction. So Bray.
On paper, this could be quite a big deal in NCAA terms. Extra benefits from agents affects eligibility. Fluker was a starter on Alabama’s last two BCS title teams. Both Tennessee and Mississippi State are on NCAA probation.
In practice, it should not prove much of one. The NCAA would struggle substantiating much of this, without subpoena power (only Couch must cooperate). There’s not much incentive to go after the schools involved, as none of them were complicit. It would also set a difficult precedent. This sort of violation is (a) nearly impossible for schools to monitor and (b) probably fairly widespread. Dropping the hammer on a major college football program every time one of these reports emerges serves no one.
Also, as Dan Wetzel points out, it is not a good look for the NCAA to hound Fluker, who was left homeless after Hurricane Katrina, when it appears much of the “extra benefits” he accepted went toward taking care of his mom.
[Photo via USA Today Sports]