Two days before the Charlotte 49ers open their Conference USA schedule against the UTEP Miners, some very interesting allegations have surfaced in El Paso.
It started on December 28 when junior guards McKenzie Moore and Jalen Ragland were suspended following a “violation of team rules”, according to head coach Tim Floyd. Reasons weren’t given beyond that. But, according to a report from El Paso Fox affiliate KFOX-TV, things seem to have escalated drastically:
Sources tell KFOX14 the FBI is investigating two players on UTEP’s men’s basketball team. However, university officials have not confirmed those allegations.
McKenzie Moore and Jalen Ragland were suspended from the team indefinitely in late December. In an interview with the El Paso Times following the Dec. 29 opening round of the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational, Coach Tim Floyd commented on the suspensions.
“The suspensions are indefinite,” Floyd told the El Paso Times. “I don’t know how long they will last. It is based on a violation of team rules. I’m not able to talk about it right now but it will all come out eventually.”
Nothing concrete has come out, but rumors of point-shaving (a federal offense) have surfaced on message boards. Right now, they’re just that–rumors, and to be treated as such until confirmed–but if the feds are involved, then we’re thinking that it was something much more than staying out past curfew, repeatedly being late to practice or getting in trouble with alcohol.
The Niners and Miners play Thursday night at 9pm ET at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso.
UPDATE, 4:15 pm: At a press conference, UTEP officials announced that they had received information that Moore and Ragland were betting on sports, but were not specific on which ones. Both players–along with a third player, Justin Crosgile–are no longer enrolled at the university; however, UTEP announced that there was no indication of point shaving at this point.