Posted by Chip Patterson
When the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer began investigating the Columbus (Ga.) Parks and Recreation Department, they discovered some interesting transactions involving a city-funded AAU baksetball team, the Georgia Blazers. included in these questionable transactions were possible impermissible benefits provided to two current University of Georgia athletes.
The report alleges that basketball signee Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and sophomore linebacker Jarvis Jones received financial assistance from parks director Tony Adams and lieutenant Herman Porter through a misuse of state funds. The Columbus Police Department claimed the NCAA was aware of the investigation and the parties involved, but the university discovered these possible violations along with the rest of the public.
Basketball coach Mark Fox said he was "just made aware" of the allegations on Sunday, and UGA athletic director Greg McGarity said that the department had reached out to the NCAA and SEC regarding the allegations in the report.
"UGA and the student-athletes will work cooperatively with both entities as the process continues," McGarity said in the release. Do not expect to hear much more from Georgia until the issue is settled.
In Jones' case, the report alleges that a credit card designated for the AAU basketball was used to purchase flights to and from Los Angeles (Jones was committed to USC before a neck injury kept him on the sidelines and eventually he transferred to UGA) in 2009. Even though he was signed to USC at the time of the purchases, possibly penalties could be enforced on the 2011 season. Jones is expected to be a starting linebacker for the Bulldogs in the fall, and could miss 3-4 games if the NCAA determines the the plane tickets warrant an NCAA violation. Georgia starts their season with two of the biggest games on their schedule, facing Boise State in Atlanta on Sept. 3, and South Carolina in Athens on Sept. 10.