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Oregon's Artis, Carter suspended nine games for selling shoes

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Oregon sophomores Dominic Artis and Ben Carter will both miss the first nine games of this basketball season that begins Friday for selling shoes (provided to them by the university) in violation of NCAA bylaws, the school announced Thursday.

But was an Oregon State student in the middle of it all?

A source told on Thursday that former Oregon player Fred Richardson III -- who is no longer enrolled at Oregon -- is actually the person who handled the transactions for Artis and Carter, and a separate source told that an Oregon compliance official called an Oregon State student named Austin Raz to investigate whether he's the one who contacted the Oregon players on Facebook and subsequently purchased the "exclusive" Nikes from Richardson. Reached Thursday night by phone, Raz confirmed that an Oregon compliance official called him "about a couple of weeks ago" to ask about the shoes and any role he might've played in their purchase.

Raz denied any wrongdoing.

"I told them I don't know what they're talking about," said Raz, who acknowledged to that, in addition to being a student at OSU, he does video work for both the Pac-12 Network and a sports agency called Scorers 1st SportManagement. "[The compliance official] said that someone was using my Facebook [account to contact the players]. ... It could be a 'Catfish' kind of thing. ... I know who [the players are] because I watch college basketball. But I've never talked to them."

Raz said he hasn't spoken with any Oregon or NCAA official since the initial call.

A source told that Artis and Carter each received $1,800 for the shoes.

The players will be required to donate that amount to chartiy as part of their reinstatement.

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