Lawyer cites lack of corroboration with SI story

LITTLE ROCK -- A lawyer for the University of Arkansas said Monday the NCAA will not investigate a former basketball player's allegations of academic and financial violations.

University general counsel Scott Varady said in a telephone interview from Fayetteville that he spoke with an NCAA enforcement director Monday and was told the organization would not pursue allegations made by Glendon Alexander, who played basketball for Arkansas from 1996 to 1997.

Alexander made the allegations in a Sports Illustrated story.

"We have no information to corroborate or suggest that there's any substance to the allegations that have been made," Varady said. "I think the story was handled in a routine manner by the NCAA, but it prompted maybe greater concern that it should have."

Varady said that in the NCAA's judgment, the allegations fall outside the statute of limitations of four years.

"A violation that is over four years old, they don't pursue but there are three exceptions to that rule," Varady said.

The NCAA can investigate allegations of violations older than four years if a player involved is still on campus, if the violations are still occurring, or if the violations are a blatant disregard of the rules.

NCAA rules preclude officials from commenting on specific cases. An NCAA spokeswoman did not immediately return a call to her office.

Alexander, who quit the Razorbacks in December 1997, told Sports
Illustrated that boosters gave him $10,000, that he didn't attend
classes and that he sold his game tickets for a profit. The magazine said an NCAA investigator met with Alexander, who is now in prison on fraud convictions.

Varady said he was happy to hear of the NCAA's decision, but added that the university will examine its compliance program to see if any changes need to be made.

"I don't want to say it's informal because it's not informal
because we will follow up on it," Varady said. "But it's informal
in the sense that the NCAA isn't pursing the matter. We will make
sure that we don't have any issues."

After leaving Arkansas, the 6-4 guard transferred to
Oklahoma State and he made similar allegations about receiving
payments while he was there.

OSU Athletic Director Harry Birdwell said the school looked into
the accusations, also published in the Sports Illustrated story,
and found nothing.

Alexander is in prison in Seagoville, Texas, for federal bank
and wire fraud convictions. He's scheduled for release in 2006.

The former player told the magazine that he was able to remain
eligible at Arkansas despite not going to class.

At the time, Arkansas athletic officials were watching the
basketball program closely after revealing that the daughter of
then-Chancellor Dan Ferritor had allegedly written papers for a
player, among other allegations.

This year, the university settled a long-running NCAA investigation over improper payments to students who worked for a Dallas booster. Arkansas gave up a total of 10 football scholarships, one basketball scholarship and four basketball visits, and the entire sports program was placed on three years' probation.