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Ex-Auburn guard Ward indicted on charges related to point-shaving

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer

Varez Ward is no longer enrolled at Auburn following allegations of point shaving. (USATSI)
Varez Ward is no longer enrolled at Auburn following allegations of point shaving. (USATSI)

Kyievarez "Varez" Ward was arrested Monday after a federal grand jury last week indicted the former Auburn guard on two charges stemming from allegations of point-shaving that were made while Ward played for the Tigers.

AL.com reports and the Associated Press confirmed Ward's indictment, handed down last week, was unsealed Tuesday. He was indicted on two bribery-related charges.

Ward, who is no longer a student at Auburn, was suspended in February 2012 and hasn't played since. From the outset, Ward has denied wrongdoing via anonymous sources; he has not spoken publicly on the matter.

Prosecutors said Ward was joined by two co-conspirators, but the two were not named in the indictment. Ward was initially linked with teammate Chris Denson in the alleged conspiracy, and both were suspended from the Tigers, but Denson was allowed back on the team on Feb. 29 after authorities cleared him of any wrongdoing.

Ward's bond was set at $25,000 on Tuesday and he is scheduled for arraignment Thursday morning, according to AL.com. He faces up to five years in prison on each of the two counts.

Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs released a statement Thursday, echoing the position the university took in March 2012.

"It is obviously an extremely serious situation anytime allegations of point shaving are made," Jacobs said. "When this matter was brought to our attention in 2012, Auburn immediately reported what we knew to the FBI, the NCAA and the SEC. Since this matter is a pending criminal case, it is not appropriate for us to make any further comments."

The NCAA previously stated it would defer any action on its part until investigations by authorities concluded.

Ward's case is the second instance in recent memory of alleged game-fixing in college basketball. Former University of San Diego star Brandon Johnson recently began a six-month jail sentence for his involvement in point shaving while at USD.

Here's a copy of the indictment.

Varez Ward Auburn Indictment

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