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K-State: NCAA 'has no concerns' about Browns' eligibility

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, August 17, 2011, at 5:38 p.m.
  • Updated Tuesday, August 23, 2011, at 3:41 p.m.

MANHATTAN — A day after former East High football players Bryce and Arthur Brown were listed in a Yahoo Sports report for allegedly receiving impermissible benefits from a Miami booster before transferring to Kansas State, their futures have seemingly been unaffected.

The Wildcats expect them to play this season.

"Kansas State University has been in communication with the NCAA," the university said in a release. "Regarding Arthur Brown and Bryce Brown, the NCAA staff has informed the institution that it has no concerns about their eligibility to compete at K-State."

The statement said K-State won't have any further comment.

One expert on compliance issues said that there isn't anything the NCAA can do.

"Based on current NCAA legislation, the ruling is what you would expect," said B. David Ridpath, a professor of sports administration at Ohio. "So is the timing. Violations like these don't follow you from school to school. As transfer students, there really is no way to punish them."

Recent NCAA rulings on player eligibility had K-State fans worried and considering a range of possibilities. While both players head into the upcoming season as planned, history also indicates they could have faced suspensions and missed up to as many as five games.

"I can't think of a case where violations have followed a kid to a new school," Ridpath said earlier Wednesday, before K-State's announcement."... That usually doesn't happen. It's almost like a get-out-of-jail free card."

The Brown brothers are two of K-State's top players entering the season.

The Yahoo report detailed how Nevin Shapiro, a former Miami booster who is serving a 20-year prison sentence for masterminding a $930 million Ponzi scheme, broke NCAA rules by providing benefits to 72 athletes in the form of cash, prostitutes, entertainment, travel, yacht trips, jewelry, televisions and other gifts.

The Brown brothers, their parents and adviser Brian Butler accepted hotel rooms, and a meal from Shapiro in late March 2008 while Bryce Brown was being recruited by Miami, totaling more than $1,600, according to the report.

Bryce Brown committed to Miami, but ultimately signed with Tennessee. After one season, he transferred to K-State.

When reached by the Eagle on Tuesday, Butler did not deny the allegations, which were backed up by credit card statements in the report. He said the family did not consider Shapiro to be a booster.

"In our case, he did invite us to lunch and we did go to lunch, and he did reserve some rooms for us, for myself and Mr. Brown Sr.," Butler said. "Those things, I can say that he did."

In addition, Shapiro claims to have provided Arthur Brown, a junior linebacker who transferred to K-State after two disappointing seasons with the Hurricanes, with dinner at a Japanese steakhouse and a paid trip to a strip club with other players during his freshman season.

Shapiro went on to say he paid for food, drinks and entertainment at Lucky Strike Lanes, and that Arthur Brown had food and drinks at Shapiro's $6 million mansion on multiple occasions.

K-State coach Bill Snyder and the Brown brothers were unavailable for comment. Attempts to reach Arthur Brown Sr. were unsuccessful.

Check Kellis Robinett's K-State blog at blogs.kansas.com/kstated. Reach him at krobinett@wichitaeagle.com.

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