Father of Ricky Seals-Jones says schools offered WR $600,000

By Jerry Hinnen | Staff Writer

The father of true freshman Texas A&M wide receiver Ricky Seals-Jones has said that his five-star son was the subject of a pay-for-play bidding war -- a war he and his son elected to avoid by committing to the Aggies.

Chester Jones told Yahoo Sports' Dan Wetzel that two schools -- one SEC, one ACC -- had each offered to double a previous offer of $300,000 for Seals-Jones' signature on a letter of intent, bringing the total to $600,000.

The $300,000 offer is due to be reported in the forthcoming book The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football, by CBS News reporter Armen Keteyian and Sports Illustrated's Jeff Benedict. Per Wetzel's early preview of the book, Jones alleges that "a top-20 program" other than A&M offered "$300,000 in cash, use of a luxury suite during football season, eight season tickets and $1,000 per month for Ricky and $500 for the family."

"It was higher than that," Jones said of the follow-up offers. "It was a lot higher than that."

Jones said he and Seals-Jones declined any of the offers, worried that they would threaten Seals-Jones' eligibility.

At this stage, it's hard to expect any of Jones' allegations to lead anywhere, since there's no claim of improper benefits, no schools named (apparently even in Keteyian's and Benedict's account), and no indication there's the kind of evidence needed for the NCAA to look into the matter. But if you're wondering whether Albert Means-like offers for players still exist in college football's shawdowy underbelly, well, here's at least one parent willing to state loudly, clearly, that they do.

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