There’s some huge news coming out of Auburn today. First reported by 247Sports, Auburn has ruled out two of their most important players for the 2017-2018 season, indefinitely: Sophomore center Austin Wiley and junior forward Danjel Purifoy.
Assistant coach Chuck Person looks like he is the man to blame for this. He allegedly gave the families of the two players $18,500 to make sure they had a financial advisor for when they went to the NBA (this should speak to how important these two guys are). Person also took over $90,000 in bribes from multiple people. Obviously, Person has been suspended without pay.
Yes, what you’re thinking is correct. This has everything to do with the continuing FBI investigation. Wiley and Purifoy are identified as Player 1 and Player 2 in the initial FBI report.
Apparently Bruce Pearl had “suspicions” about the two players, but never actually knew about it.
And while the investigation does not directly link Pearl to the corruption investigation, the fact that his program is involved with it, thanks to Person, could put Pearl on the hot seat yet again due to recruiting improprieties.
That’s what got him fired at Tennessee, and while he’s not been directly linked to this latest scandal, he’s certainly in hot water.
It looks like the team is just business as usual heading into the season. They can’t comment on anything else since it’s an ongoing investigation. This means that it could be a lot worse than what we’re seeing, or it could just be this. Either way, this is huge for their program, and the SEC overall.
The Tigers were looked at as one of the up-and-coming teams this year in the SEC. Now that these two guys are out, it’s going to be a lot harder for them to take the step they wanted to this season.
We’ll make sure to keep you updated on the whole situation as more information comes out.