Editor's Note: The following story is a special report published July 12. For a more detailed story, see the July 19 issue.
Former Duke basketball player Corey Maggette admitted in a sworn statement that he accepted $2,000 in the form of cash payments and expense money in 1997 from a high school summer league coach.
University officials informed the NCAA about this statement yesterday.
Myron Piggie coached Maggette's summer AAU team, which included former UCLA player JaRon Rush, Missouri sophomore Kareem Rush, Oklahoma State sophomore Andre Williams and pro Korleone Young. On May 23, Piggie admitted paying these five athletes a total of $35,550.
He was indicted April 12 on 11 counts including defrauding several universities by compromising players' eligibility with these payments.
After Maggette continued making public statements that he had done nothing wrong, Judge Gary Fenner scheduled Maggette to testify in a federal evidentiary hearing today to clear up the discrepancy. The hearing was canceled late last night as a result of Maggette's admission; Fenner could not sentence Piggie until his and Maggette's statements were reconciled.
Accepting payments for play even before college renders an athlete ineligible to compete as an amateur in collegiate athletics.
Therefore, the NCAA could revoke Duke's 1999 runner-up finish in men's basketball because an ineligible athlete helped the Blue Devils to the title game. It could also force Duke to return $226,815 in tournament revenue.
As a result of JaRon Rush's play while ineligible, NCAA officials last week ordered UCLA to return 45 percent of the $45,321 it received for participating in the NCAA tournament.
University and Athletic Department officials have denied having any prior knowledge of these violations, and they reiterated this position in a statement yesterday.
"We were unaware of the possibility of a violation until allegations were made last fall," said Executive Vice President Tallman Trask.