UCF Athletics Under NCAA Investigation for Ties to a Convicted Felon Too
Did you hear about the Florida university that's being investigated by the NCAA for ties to a convicted felon who worked for a sports agency and allegedly helped recruit players? No, not Miami -- the other Florida university under investigation. Yes, the University of Central Florida is also being probed by the NCAA.
The NCAA sent UCF a formal letter of inquiry about the investigation and has already begun interviewing people involved. ESPN sources say the investigation will lead to formal charges against the school's athletic program. The investigation could be complete as soon as September 30.
At the center of the investigation are the actions of 42-year-old Ken Caldwell. He has a lengthy criminal history and has ties to ASM Sports, a prominent New Jersey agency that specializes in recruiting NBA talent.
Caldwell's son attended UCF, and Caldwell let several prominent recruits stay at his son's apartment while visiting Orlando.
This situation, though, deals with potential recruiting violations and Caldwell's alleged role in UCF's courting and eventual signing of several greater Chicago-area basketball players. He also reportedly arranged a joint phone conversation between UCF basketball coach Donnie Jones and Conyers, Ga., 6-foot-4 guard Kevin Ware, who pledged to Central Florida in mid-April, only to de-commit 10 days later after allegations surfaced that Caldwell played a role in recruiting him.
Caldwell and Bender also are suspected of having ties to UCF football signee Damarcus Smith, a highly touted four-star quarterback from Louisville who previously had committed to the hometown Cardinals.
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If coaches at the school knew of Caldwell's actions, the school could face NCAA charges.
"If we have done something wrong, we will deal with it in a manner that is consistent with our responsibilities as a member of the N.C.A.A. and our own high standards of conduct," UCF president John C. Hitt tells the New York Times.
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