Two members of the UTEP men’s basketball team may be under investigation for their role in an alleged point-shaving scandal, according to a new report.
In December, Texas El-Paso basketball players McKenzie Moore and Jalen Ragland were suspended indefinitely by the school for undisclosed reasons. Head coach Tim Floyd told the El Paso Times that the suspensions were the result of a “violation of team rules,” but declined to get into specifics. “I’m not able to talk about it right now but it will all come out eventually.”
In the absence of a definitive reason for Moore and Ragland’s suspension, local news outlets searched for a possible legal situation involving the UTEP players. On Dec. 30, ABC-7 reported that it had been unable to find any police reports related to either individual.
Once again, school officials, including Floyd and UTEP athletic director Bob stull, declined to provide further comment. “Eventually, everything does come out, will come out,” Floyd told ABC-7. “But right now I’ve been asked not to say anything.”
Before long, UTEP’s campus and relevant message boards were awash with rumors that the pair was implicated in a point-shaving scandal, Deadspin notes. On Jan. 6, Sources familiar with the situation have reportedly informed local television station KFOX14 that the FBI is indeed investigating Moore and Ragland over allegations of point-shaving. However, the news outlet has yet to expound upon its initial report, and school officials at UTEP have yet to confirm or deny the claim.
ABC-7 performed its own investigation into the point-shaving rumors. The local television interviewed several individuals who claim to have knowledge concerning the allegations, none of whom were able to provide definitive proof.
However, El Paso FBI spokesperson Mike Martinez stopped short of denying that the agency was performing an investigation. “We’re not going to make a comment right now,” he said. As Deadspin notes, point-shaving is a federal offense, so any allegations would be subject to a federal investigation as opposed to one conducted by the NCAA.
Before his suspension, Moore was one of the Miners’ key contributors. The junior averaged 13.1 points and 4.5 rebounds per game in 11 contests. Ragland, also a junior, averaged 3.7 points per game while serving as a bench player.