Scandal taints Georgia’s team

University of Georgia investigates its own basketball star.
Thursday, December 11, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 8:22 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Missouri is not the only major college basketball program dealing with allegations of financial and academic wrongdoing.

While NCAA and Missouri officials check into taped comments from former point guard Ricky Clemons that he and other players received money from assistant coaches, the University of Georgia is embroiled in its own investigations.

Georgia’s troubles stem from former guard Tony Cole, who alleged earlier this year that he received improper benefits and academic assistance while at the school.

Money matters

Cole told ESPN in February that then-assistant coach Jim Harrick Jr. and his father, then-head coach Jim Harrick Sr., arranged payment of telephone and hotel bills for Cole. In March, Cole told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he used Harrick Sr.’s credit card to buy a 28-inch color television.

Cole was suspended after 16 games last season and was never reinstated.

Cole alleged one or both Harricks helped him fraudulently receive high grades at two different schools, including Georgia.

Harrick Jr. was suspended in February after Georgia found he had falsified his teaching credentials. Harrick Jr. and Harrick Sr. resigned under pressure in March.

Georgia has not received an official letter from the NCAA, which would signal the beginning of a formal investigation.

Missouri's side of the story

In Missouri, Clemons was suspended from the MU team before the start of this season.

Clemons’ former girlfriend, Jessica Bunge, has said Clemons received improper aid from tutors in the university’s athletic support program.

Clemons alleged in tape-recorded conversations with Amy Stewart, wife of associate athletic director Ed Stewart, that the benefits he received were greater than what Cole reported.

And all of the coaches implicated by Clemons remain on staff.

Missouri received an official letter of inquiry from the NCAA in September.

One other fact Missouri fans might want to take notice of: Georgia finished last regular season 19-8 and in good position for the NCAA Tournament. But because of the scandals, the Bulldogs imposed probation on themselves and chose not to compete in the Southeastern Conference and NCAA tournaments.

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