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Old 09-23-2012, 07:46 PM   #14
Burgz V2
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Toronto
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Default Re: Report: UCLA's Anderson and Parker under investigation

i definitely missed this.


PROVIDENCE -- For years now, Ryan Sweeney has hobnobbed with some of the best high school basketball talent in New England. Now the NCAA is asking him questions about his friends, one of whom happens to be the No. 1 recruit in the country.

Sweeney, 21, is a St. Andrew's School graduate who lives on the East Side of Providence with his parents. Over the years, he's welcomed New England prep stars such as Ricky Ledo, Nerlens Noel, Michael Carter-Williams and Khem Birch to his house where they'd watch TV, play video games and do whatever else teenage boys spend their time doing.

Two weeks ago, representatives from the NCAA and the University of Kentucky visited Sweeney's home to discuss his relationship with Noel, a 6-foot-10 center who enrolled last week as a freshman at UK. The officials met with Ryan Sweeney for nearly an hour, according to his father, Providence attorney Michael Sweeney. He would not comment when asked what was discussed but, the website for Sports Illustrated, reported earlier this last week that the NCAA also stopped at the Tilton (N.H.) School to further investigate potential eligibility issues regarding Noel.

"Nerlens has been at our house many times. He is Ryan's friend," said Michael Sweeney. "I'm not sure why the NCAA wanted to speak with Ryan but we cooperated, and I got the sense that everything was fine when the meeting was over."

Asked if he's ever provided money to Noel, Sweeney said: "Nerlens came to Florida with us once on vacation and he visited Ryan once at college (Florida Atlantic University) and we paid for his ticket. I will say we are not boosters of Kentucky."

In fact, Michael Sweeney has a long relationship with Providence College. He is a 1985 graduate and a long-time basketball season-ticket holder. Ryan Sweeney began attending PC's summer basketball camp as a young boy and has befriended numerous PC players over the last few years.

As a youth basketball player, Ryan Sweeney met Ledo, then a rising star from Providence's West End. The two remained acquaintances and both attended St. Andrew's.

Ledo is awaiting word from the NCAA on his eligibility to suit up for Providence this season. Unlike Noel's issues that focus on his potentially receiving possible illegal benefits, the NCAA is looking into Ledo's academic background.

Under the NCAA's rules, Michael Sweeney is a Providence booster. But while he has met coach Ed Cooley, Sweeney said he's never used his son's relationship with Ledo to influence his recruitment or spoken to anyone at PC about his son's connection with such elite prospects. It is not clear if the NCAA asked Ryan Sweeney any questions pertaining to his relationship with Ledo or if the meeting centered completely on Noel's case.

Because Ryan Sweeney has a "pre-existing relationship" with Ledo that began before he was a major recruit, the connection should not spark the NCAA's attention. The NCAA has rules that cover such relationships. A key question in an interpretation of the NCAA bylaw that governs "Benefits Resulting from an Established Relationship," asks "was the pattern of benefits provided to the athlete prior to the athlete attaining notoriety as a skilled athlete similar in nature to those provided after attaining such stature?"

Apprised of the rule, Michael Sweeney said, "There are no benefits. Ricky has never traveled with us. He might have had a piece of pizza at our house, that's it. We're not helping Ricky out at all."

doesn't sound as shady but still there are some questions marks.

maybe coach cal "smoothed" it over with those NCAA officials
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