|Saturday, March 1
Updated: March 2, 11:08 AM ET
Brown, Harrick dispute money's source
ESPN.com news services
In a story published Saturday in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jim Harrick Sr. admitted the University of Georgia passed $300 to Tony Cole.
Cole, a former University of Georgia basketball player, told ESPN in an interview Thursday night that Jim Harrick Jr. paid the $300 for a phone bill that Cole ran up while staying with the mother of a friend during the summer of 2001.
Harrick Jr., son of Bulldogs head coach Jim Harrick and an assistant coach on Georgia's coaching staff, was suspended Friday with pay pending the outcome of an investigation by the university, the Southeastern Conference and the NCAA.
Harrick Sr. told the newspaper that the money came from the Dale Brown Foundation, but that he had no receipt showing it came from the private nonprofit foundation, which is named after LSU's former men's basketball coach and assists needy students.
"They sent us the money," Harrick told the Journal-Constitution, "and (Cole) wanted it."
However, in a phone conversation with ESPN's Jeremy Schaap, Brown said "that is totally invalid.
"Why would I send somebody money in Georgia (meaning the Harricks) if I live in the same town (as Tony Cole)?"
Cole lived at the time with Eva Davis, the mother of a friend, in Baton Rouge, La.
Brown stated he has never sent any money to the Harricks personally, or through his foundation.
Brown, who retired from coaching at LSU in 1997, said that over the years he has personally given Cole approximately $10,000 but none since before the summer of 2001.
Davis has provided to ESPN a receipt of the Western Union money transfer to her to cover Coles' bill. The receipt bears the name Jim Harrick.