D U R H A M, N.C., July 12, 2000 -- — Duke’s second-place finish in the 1999 NCAAtournament is in doubt after former player Corey Maggette admittedhe took cash payments from a summer league coach while in highschool.
Maggette signed a sworn statement reversing earlier denials andadmitting he took $2,000 from Myron Piggie, his summer league coachfor a Kansas City-based AAU team, Duke said Tuesday.
Piggie pleaded guilty in May to a conspiracy charge after beingaccused of defrauding Duke and three other colleges. He faces 3-5years in prison for paying Maggette and four other high schoolplayers on his team $35,500 from 1996-98.
Duke: We Were Unaware
Duke officials have said they were not aware of the payments,but the admission jeopardizes the Blue Devils’ program. In additionto possibly forfeiting the runner-up finish for using an ineligibleplayer in the 1999 NCAA tournament, Duke also might have to returnup to $226,815 in tournament revenue.
An NCAA spokeswoman said officials planned to review Maggette’sstatement today.
Precedent for situations in which an ineligible athlete playedin a postseason game and the university was unaware of theviolations calls for the school to return 45 percent of its gamerevenue and give up any title it won, spokeswoman Jane Jankowskisaid.
Duke requested the statement to resolve questions aboutMaggette’s eligibility after claims surfaced that he accepted themoney from Piggie.
“Clearly, this is not what we wanted to hear, but we arepleased at least we have the facts now,” Duke spokesman AlRossiter Jr. said.
NCAA to Investigate
The next step for the NCAA is to see if rules were violated, notif Duke tried to cover up the payments, he said.
“Clearly, we weren’t aware of it,” Rossiter said. “The issue is, was this in fact a violation of NCAA rules, and what do they doabout it.”
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski was told of the statement but had nocomment. He has also denied knowledge of the payments.
Prosecutors Hope for Stronger Case
Maggette has been subpoenaed by federal prosecutors to testifyabout the payments. He already testified before a grand jury aboutPiggie.
The statement Duke received Tuesday was also sent to the U.S.Attorney in Kansas City. Prosecutors were hoping testimony fromMaggette that he took money would allow them to pursue a strongersentence against Piggie. A hearing in the case scheduled forTuesday in Kansas City was postponed until today.
The federal indictment against Piggie claimed he paid theplayers in exchange for agreements that they would pay him oncethey received pro contracts and signed endorsement deals. It alsosaid he used the players to secure money from a booster and Nike.
The other players were JaRon Rush of UCLA; his brother, Kareem,of Missouri; Korleone Young, who entered the NBA draft withoutplaying in college; and Andre Williams of Oklahoma State.
Partly in response to issues raised by the investigation, theNCAA recently moved to eliminate its 24-day summer recruitingseason, when coaches like Piggie parade their players beforecollege coaches. The NCAA has approved trimming the summerrecruiting season to 14 days, and then cutting it altogether.
Maggette left Duke after his freshman year and was selected bythe Seattle SuperSonics in the first round of the 1999 draft. Hewas traded to the Orlando Magic, where he played last season.
Maggette was dealt, again on draft day last month, to the LosAngeles Clippers.