SEC Players Received Benefits, Florida State Returns

It was another day, another NCAA scandal. This time five SEC players allegedly received “impermissible benefits” while in school.

Former Alabama defensive end Luther Davis alleged acted as the intermediary to four players between NFL agents and financial advisers. This included the former Alabama defensive tackle D.J. Fluker, former University of Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray and former Mississippi State players Chad Bumphis and Fletcher Cox. One player, Tennessee starting defensive end Maurice Couch is currently playing but is out for this week’s game.

D.J. Fluker

D.J. Fluker

Yahoo Sports! broke the story that went viral on Wednesday and wrote that Davis had distributed $45,500 in benefits and money to the aforementioned players.

The involved agents include John Phillips, Peter Schaffer and Andy Simms while the advisers were Hodge Brahmbatt, Jason Jernigan and Mike Rowan, reported CBS Sports. The agents and Rowan have confirmed they gave Davis money but claim they “had no knowledge of, nor did they instruct Davis to provide any benefits to the players.”

Yahoo’s story includes records showing Davis received the money in question from the two groups in the time period between September 2011 and December 2012. Documentation also disclosed he gave the players a minimum of $12,700 through cash, airfare, living expenses and other means.

As for the approximate balance of the money, Yahoo also found that Davis had sent an invoice in February 2013 to Fluker’s adviser, Brahmbhatt, with a subject line that read, “D.J. Fluker Invoice.” In an email, the invoice had 49 line items for transactions that totaled $33,755.

Here’s a list of the full allegations. They could violate NCAA bylaw which “prohibits athletes from receiving extra benefits from prospective agents or marketing representatives,” according to ESPN. This is the same one that affected Reggie Bush’s activities while at USC. For Fluker, the violation could affect his eligibility and possibly the Alabama wins that he was a part of including last year’s BCS National Championship.

Yes, Alabama knows about the report and on Wednesday, its athletic director Bill Battle made a statement that the university is reviewing the allegations.

Fluker was drafted in April by the San Diego Chargers and back in January, he tweeted the following:

Fluker twitter

Fluker’s agent alleged at the time that the Twitter account had been hacked.

The timing of the story comes as #1 Alabama prepares to play #6 Texas A&M this Saturday. This game of the week had enough drama without this latest angle. Last year, the Aggies stunned Alabama with a 29-24 win, putting a blemish on an otherwise perfect season.

This year the Crimson Tide will travel to College Station for the rematch. Vegas doesn’t think this will affect the visiting team as they won’t lose two straight to Texas A&M (-8, 60.5 o/u). Looking ahead, Alabama sits at the top, 5/2, for the 2014 BCS National Championship.

Saturday’s Games…

Most schools will continue their seasons with non-conference games this week. #10 Florida State (1-0) will take on Nevada (1-1).

Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston

The Wolfpack will have starters James Wilder Jr., P.J. Williams and Tre Jackson all back on the field but its quarterback Cody Fajardo could see limited action as he’s been listed day-to-day with a sprained knee from last week’s game. This is unfortunate as it could have been a great battle of the quarterbacks with Florida State’s Jameis Winston.

In the player’s Labor Day debut against Pittsburgh, Winston went 25 for 27 passes, 356 yards and four touchdowns.

Can he repeat this? Vegas thinks so with a big win to follow (-34.5, 65.5 o/u).

#2 Oregon will host Tennessee this week. The Ducks haven’t skipped a beat without Chip Kelly and have been enjoying their running game. In the last two weeks, they’re had five 100-yard running performances including two from running back from De’Anthony Thomas, two from quarterback Marcus Mariota and one from running back Byron Marshall.

Can Tennessee stop this? Maybe but Vegas says no with an Oregon win (-28, 70 o/u).


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