Texas players may have accepted meals from agent, eligibility in jeopardy

Sam Cooper
July 16, 2014
Texas players may have accepted meals from agent, eligibility in jeopardy

The risky business of player-agent relationships may cost several Texas players their eligibility.

News emerged Monday from the Austin American-Statesman that two Texas football players each “received a meal paid for by an agent” and that their NCAA eligibility for 2014 was in question. Texas reported the incident to the NCAA on June 6, but the school would not confirm the names of the players.

Then on Tuesday, Texas Rivals affiliate Orangebloods.com reported that St. Louis-based agent Justin Bingman tweeted multiple times about having dinners with several different Longhorns players in March. The tweets, which have since been deleted upon discovery, stated that Bingman had dinner with linebackers Jordan Hicks and Steve Edmond on March 24.

The tweet about Edmond read:

"Had dinner with @SteveBigMoney33 last night, MLB for Texas. We all had a great time with many stories. #Longhorns" 

And the tweet about Hicks said:

"Just had dinner with a great young man that is going to do great this year for Texas @JHicks_3 #Longhorns #LonghornNation"

Additionally, according to the Statesman, Bingman, the agent for former UT lineman Mason Walters, tweeted about dinners with defensive end Cedric Reed on March 22 and defensive tackle Desmond Jackson on March 23.

The tweet about Reed said:

“Just had a great dinner with @Ced_Reed88 He and his dad are great guys!” 

The tweet about Jackson was:

“Had dinner with @TexasBoy99tank and his Dad last night. They are both great guys and looking forward to the next time"

Accepting a free meal is an NCAA violation and the players could face suspension or potentially lose their eligibility. It is not known who paid for the meals mentioned in the tweets.

The school confirmed to the Statesman that the case “is being processed through the NCAA through regular procedures.”

All four players are entering their senior seasons with the Longhorns – the first under new head coach Charlie Strong. Strong is set to face the media at Big 12 media day on Monday.

For more Texas news, visit Orangebloods.com.

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Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!