Maggette Admits To Taking Payments

Former Duke player Corey Maggette admitted in a sworn statement he took cash payments from a summer league coach while was still a high school student, school officials announced Tuesday.

Maggette earlier denied accepting money from Myron Piggie, his summer league coach for a Kansas City-based AAU team. Maggette has been subpoenaed by federal prosecutors to testify about the payments. He already testified before a grand jury about Piggie.

The statement Duke received Tuesday was also sent to the U.S. Attorney in Kansas City and to the NCAA, which could order Duke to vacate its runner-up finish in the 1999 NCAA tournament for using an ineligible player.

The statement "raises substantial questions about his eligibility to play for the Blue Devils during the 1998-99 season," said Duke's Executive Vice President Tallman Trask III in a statement.

Maggette left Duke last spring and was drafted in the NBA. He finished his rookie season with the Orlando Magic this year.

Duke had requested the statement to resolve questions about his eligibility after allegations surfaced that he accepted $2,000 from Piggie.

Piggie pleaded guilty in May to a conspiracy charge and faces three to five years in prison for paying Maggette and four other players on his team $35,500 from 1996-98. The players were in high school at the time.

Duke officials have said they were not aware of the payments, but the admission jeopardizes the Blue Devils' program. In addition to possibly forfeiting the second-place title, Duke also might have to return up to $226,815 in tournament revenue.

"Clearly this is not what we wanted to hear, but we are pleased at least we have the facts now," said Duke spokesman Al Rossiter Jr.

The next step for the NCAA is to see whether rules were violated, he said.

"Clearly we weren't aware of it," Rossiter said. "The issue is was this in fact a violation of NCAA rules and what do they do about it."

It was unclear whether Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski was aware of the statement, Rossiter said. He has also denied knowledge of the payments.

The federal indictment against Piggie claimed he paid the players in exchange for agreements that they would pay him once they received pro contracts and signed endorsement deals. It also said he used the players to secure money from a booster and Nike.

The other players were JaRon Rush of UCLA; his brother, Kareem, of Missouri; Korleone Young, who entered the NBA draft without playing in college; and Andre Williams of Oklahoma State.

A federal hearing in the case scheduled for Tuesday in Kansas City was postponeuntil Wednesday.

Partly in response to issues raised by the investigation, the NCAA recently moved to eliminate its 24-day summer recruiting season, when coaches like Piggie parade their players before college coaches. The NCAA has approved trimming the summer recruiting season to 14 days, and then cutting it altogether.


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