POSTED: Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - 2:15pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, January 8, 2014 - 10:44am
University officials: No Evidence of any point shaving taking place
El Paso, Tx (KTSM) — Officials with the University of Texas at El Paso announced Tuesday afternoon that three men's basketball team members allegedly bet on sporting events and are no longer members of the team.
According to UTEP officials the three players, McKenzie Moore, Jalen Ragland and Justin Crosgile allegedly bet on one or more sporting events. UTEP officials added that there was no evidence of "point shaving" involving the players.
The information that players allegedly bet on sporting events first came to the attention of the university late in December. Officials said that when they found out they "immediately reported it to the El Paso FBI office," who then immediately began investigating the allegations.
Coach Tim Floyd said the entire situation started with one tip to his office, which led him call his bosses and start the investigation. He declined to elaborate on who provided the tip or how it came into his office.
All three players are no longer enrolled at UTEP and, because the gambling accusation are violations of NCAA rules, lose one year of eligibility and are suspended for one year. Officials said the NCAA penalties, "ends the college careers of the players."
UTEP Athletic Director Bob Stull said that the NCAA penalties are only on the players, not on the university. After the university reported the alleged betting to the FBI, as a result of their investigation, the involvement of a third player was uncovered. Stull also said the investigation on the university's part, is over.
Basketball Head Coach Tim Floyd said he would depend on other team members and walk-ons to help cover the loss of the three players. Floyd added that "his job is to make sure the team has the best opportunity to win...with the players available."
Floyd also said he "felt sorry for the kids on the team and the fans." He also asked the community at large to "let him know if they see any point guards in the grocery store."
When asked about any lasting effects on the program, Coach Floyd said he "doesn't foresee any effect on recruiting from developments."
UTEP officials called the news conference for Tuesday afternoon to discuss the basketball program after two players were suspended indefinitely in late December.
Executive Vice President Richard Adauto, Director of Athletics Bob Stull and Head Coach Tim Floyd were all in attendance to disucss the team.
During a December 28th post-game news conference, Coach Floyd referenced the missing players.
“I don’t know how long it will last,” he said. “I’m learning more information as I sit here. It’s very disheartening. I certainly hope they come out on the positive end of what’s going on. Unfortunately I’m not able to talk about it right now. Eventually everything does come out and will come out, but right now I have been asked not to say anything. Right now they’re not with our team and I told them I’ll have more to say to them on Tuesday. It’s unfortunate and that’s kind of where it is.”
Below is the official statement from UTEP:
Full transcript from press conference will be e-mailed out later this afternoon.
University Statement on UTEP Men's Basketball Program
“Last month, we received information that two men’s basketball players may have been betting on sporting events. Immediately Director of Athletics Bob Stull, men’s basketball coach Tim Floyd and Richard Adauto from the President’s Office reported these allegations to university police and the FBI. Law enforcement authorities conducted a thorough investigation and determined that three men’s basketball student-athletes – Justin Crosgile, McKenzie Moore and Jalen Ragland – participated in betting on one or more sporting events. To date, there was no indication that point shaving was involved. However, per NCAA rules, any type of sports gambling is prohibited and results in a one-year suspension and loss of a year of eligibility. All three players are upperclassmen, and therefore their college basketball careers are over. They are no longer enrolled at UTEP and are no longer a part of our basketball program.”
To read a recap of the game following their suspension click HERE