Miami Payments Probed
MIAMI - Federal agencies are investigating alleged payments to a fired University of Miami official and the financial aid records of more than 100 athletes, according to published reports.
Tony Russell, former assistant academic coordinator in the athletic department, is the primary target of the investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Department of Education, the Miami Herald and Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel quoted sources as saying.
Russell allegedly falsified applications to help some students and scholarship athletes get federal aid usually intended for needy students not on full scholarship.
In return, Russell sought cash payments of up to $100 from the students, a football player and a government source told the newspapers. Russell was fired three weeks ago.
UM, which notified authorities when it discovered the apparent improprieties, could face trouble on two fronts: Falsifying aid applications violates federal law, and athletes getting money improperly - regardless of whether they knew it was improper - is a violation of NCAA rules.
-- Freshman Derrick Dodson has been dismissed from the Arkansas football team after his arrest for rape and burglary. -- Linebacker Louis Thomas was kicked off the Missouri football team following his arrest on a rape charge, coach Bob Stull said.
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