Developing: Coach K under investigation for alleged recruiting violation

DEVELOPING... Saturday 10 AM
Deputy FC assigned.

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How many times have we heard Dick Vitale boast about the Duke basketball program: "Never a rule violation. Never a recruiting violation." "You're awesome, baby."

This morning there are reports of a possible recruiting violation by Coach K. Yes, Mr. Squeeky Clean of All American sports.

Sources: CBS Sports, which reported the allegation, and News and Observer, which followed up and got a statement from Duke athletics.

NCAA Rule prohibits coaches from contacting student athletes until they are finished playing in a tournament.

So what happened -- if anything -- Tuesday between Coach K and Alex Poythress, 6-7 forward from Clarksville, Tennesee? Did Coach K offer him a scholarship -- before Poythress and the Georgia Stars club team completed play in the Super Showcase tournament in the Orlando suburb of Lake Buena Vista, Florida, at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex?

The finale of the tournament was Wednesday night.

The Chronicle reported Thursday that Poythress had gotten a scholarship offer from Duke -- but said nothing about the timetable. And the player was non-committal, saying he's "wide open" with a lot to think about and a lot of schools after him. As a junior, the 6-foot-8 small forward (ESPN says 6-7) averaged 22.3 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.1 blocks, 1.4 steals and 1.2 assists per game for Northeast High School.

The N and O says Duke athletics issued a statement Friday. We can't find it anywhere on line -- that doesn't mean it isn't there, because it may be tucked into some nook or cranny -- so we quote from the newspaper:

"In all rules matters brought to our attention, the Duke compliance department exercises due diligence in determining the relevant facts of a given situation," Duke associate director of athletics for media relations and public affairs Jon Jackson said in the statement. "Proper adherence to NCAA bylaws has always been, and will continue to be, a cornerstone of Duke Athletics."

Jackson would say no more, as NCAA rules prohibit staff members from talking about recruits who have not signed scholarship agreements. There has been no direct word from Coach K.

ESPN offers this profile of Poythress: high school class of 2012, 6-7, 215 pounds, overall rank #17, small forward position rank 3. There's a list of schools he is interested in, and a list of schools chasing him, but Duke is not on either.

And this assessment quoted from ESPN:

Poythress is a terrific long armed athlete that does a great job running the floor and attacking the basket on the break and in the half court. He can hit the open three with time and space but he is at his best when getting to the rim where he can finish through contact. Poythress is an excellent rebounder on both ends mainly because he can get rebounds in and out of his area. He has great hands is also a good passer and ball handler. Defensively Poythress did a great job of challenging shots on and away from the ball.

Poythress must continue to work to hone his overall skill set in the areas of scoring with his back to the basket and moves off the bounce in order for this combination forward to become a full time small forward. As Poythress continues to add strength his game will continue to blossom.

End ESPN quote.

The AAU Super Showcase is a marquee event. The invitation-only summer-time tournament gives elite players a chance to showcase their talent. Among the players who have starred in this event are Kyrie Irving and Austin Rivers.

Did Coach K jump the gun this time? We'll believe it when they prove it. Stay tuned to FC!!

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