NEW YORK – Syracuse has launched an internal investigation into the recruitment of former player Donte Greene by professional sports agents, according to a team spokesman. A team source said the school spoke to Greene about the situation Wednesday.
"We're looking into," said Syracuse's Pete Moore. "It's going to take some time."
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said he didn't know anything about the Manhattan sports agency that helped Greene's uncle get a line of credit at a bank, an action that could be a violation of NCAA amateurism rules. He added he believes Greene was also unaware of the loan.
"I know he never listened to his uncle about anything," Boeheim said Wednesday. "So I don't know if somebody went to his uncle or not. I don't think Donte knew anything about it from what I know."
Ceruzzi Sports and Entertainment told Yahoo! Sports it helped Greene's uncle, Derrick Marcano, secure a $50,000 line of credit during the 2007-08 season in an effort to recruit Greene.
"It was done because [Marcano] needed the money and we thought he was a person of influence [in Greene's decision to choose an agent]," said Charles Grantham, the CEO of Ceruzzi Sports.
Marcano admitted he received the loan and said he wouldn't have been able to secure it without Ceruzzi Sports' backing. Marcano, a mortgage broker, said he used the money, which he has to pay back, for a business project.
"The loan was more of a favor by the owner of Ceruzzi Sports," Marcano said. "I told them what my needs were and they offered their help.
"So it really had nothing to do with the basketball side of things," he continued. "I never intended it to be a benefit for Donte. It really was for me and my family to continue my direction in my entrepreneurship."
Marcano and his family also had Thanksgiving dinner at the Jersey City, N.J., home of a Ceruzzi Sports employee in November 2007. The family, which hails from Baltimore, was in the New York area to watch Syracuse play in a tournament.
Greene led the Orange in scoring as a freshman last season before turning pro. He currently plays for the Sacramento Kings. He did not sign with Ceruzzi Sports and has not responded to requests for comment to Yahoo! Sports through the team.
The story does not allege that Boeheim or his staff had any knowledge of the loan or the dinner. Despite the line of credit to Marcano, Greene signed with agent Bill Strickland.
"I think for the last 30 years agents have been involved with relatives," Boeheim said. "It's a sad thing but we talked about it all the time with Donte."
- Donte Greene