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Report claims five SEC players received impermissible benefits

By Tom Fornelli | College Football Writer

According to a story released by Yahoo Sports on Wednesday evening one current and four former SEC football players received impermissible benefits during their college careers. The players named in the report are former Alabama offensive tackle D.J. Fluker, Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray and defensive end Maurice Couch, and Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and receiver Chad Bumphis. Of the five players only Couch remains in school.

The report states the five former SEC players received benefits from former Alabama defensive end Luther Davis, who allegedly acted as an intermediary between the players and three agents and three financial advisers. The agents named in the report were Andy Simms, Peter Schaffer and John Phillips. The advisers were Jason Jernigan, Mike Rowan and Hodge Brahmbatt.

Simms, Schaffer, Phillips and Rowan all confirmed that they gave money to Davis but claim they had no knowledge of, nor did they instruct Davis to provide any benefits to the players. Yahoo reports that it has records that show Davis received $45,550 from the agents and advisers between September 2011 and December 2012. Records also show that Davis gave at least $12,700 to the players in cash, airfare, living expenses and other means.

Yahoo also discovered an invoice that Davis sent to D.J. Fluker's financial adviser, Hodge Brahmbhatt, in February 2013 under the subject line "D.J. Fluker Invoice." The email was a line-item invoice of 49 transactions totaling $33,755 in expenditures.

Records also indicate that Davis wired cash to Fluker, Tyler Bray and Maurice Couch via Western Union from a pharmacy in Tuscaloosa. There are also records of plane tickets Davis bought for Fletcher Cox, Chad Bumphis and Mississippi State defensive back Johnthan Banks, though Banks never used the ticket. Cox, Bumphis and Davis did.

You can read the full list of alleged violations in the original report.

If the NCAA can prove the allegations made in the Yahoo report it would violate Bylaw 12.3.1.2, the same bylaw violated in the Reggie Bush case at USC.

Both Mississippi State and Tennessee are currently on probation until the summer of 2015 due to previous violations within the respective programs.

 
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