At some point Tuesday, and as expected, the family of Maurkice Pouncey Will Likely release a statement denying any illegal benefits were received by the offensive lineman while still a member of the Florida Gators, ESPN.com‘s Joe Schad is reporting.
A report from ESPN.com‘s Pat Forde surfaced Monday in which it was alleged that Pouncey received $100,000 from someone tied to a player agent at some point between Florida’s loss to Alabama in the SEC title game and the Gators’ Sugar Bowl win over Cincinnati. If it were to be proven that Pouncey accepted illegal benefits, the first-round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers could be declared retroactively ineligible and UF could be forced to vacate their bowl win.
A source told Schad that Florida originally became aware of the Pouncey allegation through a letter that was postmarked from Canada, and contained photographic evidence that showed a runner for a sports agent interacting at social events with with Maurkice Pouncey and his twin brother Mike, who will be a senior offensive lineman for the Gators in 2010.
The Pounceys have been cooperating with the dual investigations being conducted by both Florida and the NCAA, and, Schad writes, have provided phone, bank and credit card statements that do not show any large payments. Two sources told Schad that Pouncey purchased an Escalade and jewelry after the April NFL draft with a deferred line of credit.
A separate source told PFT’s Mike Florio that he’s 99.99-percent certain Pouncey did not receive any extra or illegal benefits before playing his final game in Gainesville.
Pouncey’s agent of record is Joel Segal, although that doesn’t necessarily mean that Segal is the agent wrapped up in this imbroglio. According to a Miami Herald source, Pouncey accepted cash from one agent through a runner before flipping and signing with Segal. That jilting allegedly led to the jiltee informing Florida of money being funneled to Pouncey.
It would seem odd, though, that a jilted agent would divulge this information to the university because, as noted by the Gainesville Sun, Florida law allows allows for a sports agent who has been found to have made payments to a student-athlete who still has eligibility remaining to be charged with a second-degree felony that’s punishable by up to 15 years in jail and/or a $10,000 fine.