Report identifies San Diego bribee

The point-shaving mess that has devastated the San Diego men's basketball team is not confined to past years, or to one player. All-time leading scorer Brandon Johnson is the focus of a government investigation for allegedly accepting a bribe to affect the outcome of a game in 2010. But Johnson has also been accused of allegedly (and unsuccessfully) soliciting a member of the 2011 Toreros to affect a game in January.

So, who was that player?

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, which cites "multiple sources with direct knowledge of the case," that player is junior forward Ken Rancifer. Rancifer averaged 8.6 points and 2.7 rebounds in 20.9 minutes per game in 2011, his sophomore season.

The Union-Tribune's questions were referred to the San Diego attorney Dick Semerdjian, who said he could neither confirm nor deny whether Rancifer was part of a Feb. 23 meeting in which ...

... an individual solicited by Johnson met with Steve Goria, Richard Garmo, Richard Thweni and former USD assistant coach Thaddeus “TJ” Brown. [...] It also says that on Feb. 23, Goria, Garmo and Lilian Goria provided money to Paul Thweni “to wager, in part, on a USD basketball game they believed to be ‘fixed.’ ”

Semerdijian did however say there was "no wrongdoing." Rancifer was not listed in the indictment against Johnson and others because a person solicited for a bribe doesn't commit a crime unless he actually follows through on taking it. There is no such evidence to that effect here.

In any case, it's another step in the public unwinding of the information from this investigation. That information is crucial, not just because we media consumers feel like we deserve to know the intimate and sordid details of something like this. Rather, anyone concerned about the prevalence of game-fixing and point-shaving in collegiate athletics will want to know how, in the year 2011, these things can continue to happen, sometimes right under our noses.