Report: Former Terp Diamond Stone's name linked to FBI probe into improper payments from agent.
A day after releasing a statement saying he had no involvement in improper payments to former Maryland player Diamond Stone, Terps coach Mark Turgeon doubled down on his denial about any relationship with agent Andy Miller.
“I’ve always prided myself on doing things the right way and I have my whole career,” Turgeon said in opening his postgame news conference after Saturday afternoon’s 85-61 loss to No. 17 Michigan at Xfinity Center. “I have absolutely zero relationship with that agent or agency. Wouldn’t know him if he walked in the room today. And we’ll cooperate in any way with the investigation.”
Asked if he is fully confident that none of his current or former staff members had contact with Miller or those who worked for him at ASM Sports, Turgeon said: “There’s no involvement with us or our staff. None. Zero.”
According to a Yahoo Sports report, Stone was one of several college and high school players who allegedly received improper payments from Miller. Stone, who signed with another agency after spending a year at Maryland, reportedly received $14,303.
Turgeon said any investigation into his program is “all internal right now, with the president, athletic director, compliance,” and added: “We haven’t heard from anybody else at this point.”
According to an athletic department spokesman, the university hasn’t been contacted by either the FBI or NCAA.
An internal investigation will be run through the athletic department’s compliance department directed by acting athletic director Damon Evans, the spokesman said.
Turgeon said the news of Stone’s involvement in the ongoing FBI investigation into the growing college basketball scandal “was not a distraction” in getting his team ready to play its final regular-season home game.
Asked if it was difficult to prepare his team, Turgeon said: “Not difficult at all because I haven’t given it any thought. I’m pissed about it, but I haven’t given it any thought. I’m disappointed I didn’t have my team ready. But that news does nothing to me.”
Sophomore guard Anthony Cowan Jr. said Turgeon addressed the situation with the team before Friday’s practice. Turgeon canceled the media availability with the team leading up to Saturday’s game.
“He told us it had nothing to do with us,” Cowan said after Saturday’s game. “When he said that, I think everybody kind of shut it out and really just tried to focus on Michigan.”
Michigan coach John Beilein, who has gained a reputation for running one of the cleanest programs in the country, said the best way for coaches to stay out of trouble is to educate the players and their parents.
“When someone's offering them something, whether it’s big or whether it’s small, they’ve got to say, ‘No,’ to [even] a Coca-Cola if an agent’s talking to them,” Beilein said. “They’ve also obviously got to say, ‘No,’ to money, and a lot of people come from situations where they might not have that opportunity again. You’ve got to educate them so they know it’s not worth it.”
Belein declined to speculate on any of the reports involving some of the nation's most prominent programs and coaches, including one by ESPN late Friday night that alleges Arizona coach Sean Miller spoke directly to one of Andy Miller’s people about a $100,000 payment to current freshman star Deandre Ayton.
The Arizona Daily Star reported Saturday morning that Miller informed his players that he would not be coaching later in the day against Oregon. It isn’t clear whether Ayton, considered by many to be a possible No. 1 pick in this year’s NBA draft, will play against the Ducks.
“These are allegations. I’d like to see more before I come up here and say, ‘Hey, those are all wrong,’ ” Beilein said Saturday when speaking about all the allegations across college basketball. “If the accusations are true, then it’s certainly not the way college basketball should work.
“There’s so many of us doing it the right way. There’s so many of us. Whatever the number [of players and programs] this comes out to, if the accusations are true … it’s not good for our game, but we’ll evolve and we’ll get better.”