Report: Auburn’ Ward under investigation
Auburn University point guard Varez Ward is under investigation in connection with a possible point-shaving scheme.Yahoo! Sports, citing three sources with knowledge of the case, reported that the FBI has been investigating Ward since he was suspended prior to a game against Arkansas on Feb. 25. Sources told Alabama.com that Ward has privately acknowledged being questioned by federal authorities, said his cell phone was seize and admitted taking a lie-detector test.“We are very concerned by the point-shaving allegations involving Auburn University men’s basketball program and have been in contact with the school and the FBI since the issue arose in February,” the NCAA said in a statement. “The NCAA takes any allegation of point shaving very seriously because sports wagering threatens two of our core principles – the well-being of student-athletes and the very integrity of intercollegiate sport.“As allegations of point shaving, if proven, are also potential federal crimes, the NCAA will defer action until any process with the FBI has concluded.”Auburn also released a statement in which the school said it immediately contacted FBI, NCAA and Southeastern Conference officials upon learning of the allegations two weeks ago.Sources told Yahoo! Sports that two games are under investigation: a 68-50 loss to Alabama on Feb. 7 and a 56-53 loss to Arkansas on Jan. 25.Ward, a transfer from Texas, has averaged 8.9 points and 3.8 assists this season. He had three points and six turnovers against Alabama, and played briefly before leaving with a leg injury against Arkansas.Sophomore guard Chris Denson was also suspended prior to the Feb. 25 matchup with Arkansas but was reinstated after one game. Denson, according to the Yahoo! report, was cleared by federal investigators.Auburn opened SEC Tournament play Thursday with a first-round matchup against Mississippi.