ASU looking into recruiting, academic allegations

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona State has begun an internal investigation into allegations of academic fraud and recruiting violations in its top-ranked baseball program.

Former player and team manager Mikel Moreno told the East Valley Tribune he had made the allegations to university officials, who launched the investigation.

The allegations involve academic fraud, recruiting improprieties and other potential violations, the Tribune reported.

Virgil Renzulli, ASU's vice president of public affairs, confirmed that an investigation had begun but would not provide details.

"We take any accusations seriously, but accusations are accusations," Renzulli said. "It doesn't mean they're true. We realize that at this stage these are charges. Nothing has been proven."

Coach Pat Murphy said in a statement that he welcomed the investigation, and he seemed confident it would turn up no major wrongdoing.

"Any investigation of any program in Division I may show minor hiccups from time to time, none with intent or adding any advantage and most of which would be clerical or administrative error," Murphy said.

"I support the university and athletic department in doing their due diligence," he said. "They are right in looking into any and all accusations. You will clearly see what we are all about."

The investigation was launched in January. Arizona State hired the Indianapolis-based Ice Miller law firm to handle the investigation into the charges that also include improper use of training at Athletes' Performance in Tempe and violations relating to players working for Murphy's nonprofit PTM Programs for Youth.

Murphy, in his 14th year as Arizona State coach, also disputed rumors that a large number of ASU players will be suspended. Murphy said he expects the investigation to be concluded soon.

Moreno's allegations come from a player who starred for Arizona State from 1995-98, batted .354, hit 11 home runs and had 56 RBIs on the Sun Devils' 1998 College World Series team. He served as a graduate manager on Murphy's staff last season.

Moreno could not be reached for comment.

Part of the investigation includes the eligibility case of pitcher Jason Jarvis. Jarvis regained his eligibility over the weekend until his appeal of a grade lowering for an online class is heard.

The Sun Devils, ranked No. 1 in several polls, are 3-0 and play Michigan on Thursday night at Packard Stadium. They opened the season 3-0 with one-sided victories over No. 6 Vanderbilt and No. 11 Oregon State.