The NCAA is investigating for potential recruiting violations involving Tony Parker, according to Scout.com’s UCLA website.
Parker was the AJC’s Mr. Basketball from Miller Grove High School who signed last April with UCLA over offers from UGA, Ohio State, Kansas, and Memphis.
On Sunday night, Parker’s high school coach told the AJC he was aware of the report, and also stated that he had not been contacted by the NCAA.
“Of course, I was caught off guard by this,” Miller Grove’s Sharman White said. “I think it’s the NCAA just doing what they do. If they’ve got any suspicions, I don’t know … I can’t really go on the record and say anything.
“I mean, you hear about things like this all the time – the NCAA investigating and clearing guys to be eligible, or whatever. It’s not like the first time this has ever happened. It happens all the time. And, in a lot of cases, the guys are cleared.
“I’m fully confident that Tony Parker will be cleared by the NCAA and ready to go this season.”
When asked if he was aware of any wrongdoings during Parker’s UCLA recruitment, White replied, “No. None. Personally, I don’t know of any.”
When asked if he knew what the NCAA may be specifically looking into with Parker, White said, “I really don’t know. I was kind of surprised when I heard about the report. I would gladly answer questions from the NCAA. I wouldn’t shy away from anything.”
Parker, a 6-foot-8, 280-pound center, was one of three highly-touted recruits that signed with UCLA last season, along with shooting guard Shabazz Muhammad and small forward Kyle Anderson – all ranked among the nation’s top 25 overall prospects. Muhammad has been under an NCAA probe for recruiting violations involving his relationship with an AAU booster and is awaiting a ruling on his eligibility. The names of Parker and Anderson were first mentioned on Sunday by BruinReportOnline.com.
While Muhammad’s status with the team is under review, both Parker and Anderson were permitted to travel with UCLA to a recent series of exhibition games in China. However, Parker did not play because of a hamstring injury.
“Tony hasn’t been out there much because of the hamstring, but he’s feeling a lot better and said that he could’ve probably played in China but they held him back for precautionary reasons,” White said.
Last April, Parker cited UCLA hiring his longtime AAU coach Korey McCray as an assistant, as one of his main reasons of signing with UCLA.
UPDATE: UCLA released a statement on Monday: “Recently, there have been misleading and inaccurate public reports regarding the initial-eligibility certification of our men’s basketball team’s incoming class … Currently, there are two men’s basketball student-athletes who have not yet received final amateurism certification from the NCAA. UCLA will not, and cannot, endanger the privacy of our student-athletes or the confidentiality of the process by providing a more specific response at this time to these reports.”
Also on Monday night, ESPNLosAngeles reported, “A source who requested anonymity told ESPNLosAngeles that the two who have not yet been cleared are Muhammad and Anderson. Parker had been the subject of an inquiry, but has since been cleared …”
THIS JUST IN …
FOOTBALL SEASON IS HERE
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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