Car Trouble At UConn?

For the second time this month, a player for top-ranked Connecticut has been linked to a possible NCAA violation involving the use of a vehicle.

Khalid El-Amin, the preseason Big East player of the year, has used a 1998 Land Rover registered to a Hartford man who claims the point guard left him game tickets over the past two seasons, according to a report Thursday in The News-Times of Danbury.

El-Amin, who denied any wrongdoing to the newspaper on Wednesday night, reiterated that after the top-ranked Huskies' 70-68 loss to Iowa in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night.

"There was no wrongdoing on my part," he said. "I've spoken to the people who need to be spoken to and the situation should be handled."

El-Amin had 26 points, all but two in the second half, in the stunning upset.

Coach Jim Calhoun would not comment on the matter.

"All student-athlete related matters are dealt with internally at the University of Connecticut," the school said in a statement issued about 90 minutes before tipoff. "Consistent with past practices within our division of athletics, we are not at liberty to provide any further comment."

Center Jake Voskuhl was cleared of wrongdoing by the NCAA two weeks ago after questions arose over his use of a Lexus owned by a Connecticut restaurateur not connected to the basketball program.

The difference in El-Amin's case is he allegedly left tickets for Diary Davis, the registered owner of the Land Rover, which may qualify Davis as a booster of the athletic program.

NCAA rules prohibit student athletes from receiving any "extra benefits," including the use of an automobile, from boosters. Athletes also are forbidden to exchange tickets for "any item of value," according to the NCAA bylaws.

Davis has an unpublished phone number and could not be reached for comment. But he told The News-Times earlier that he has known El-Amin for about two years and that "we're real, real close."

El-Amin averaged 13.8 points and 3.9 assists last season as the Huskies won the national championship.

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