Auburn expects to receive another notice of allegations from the NCAA from the coming months as a result of Chuck Person’s conduct, and the university could face further sanctions, according to a victim impact statement filed by Auburn in federal court before Person was sentenced Wednesday in Manhattan.
The statement details a university account of how Person betrayed players and the school by accepting $91,500 bribes to steer pro prospects to a financial adviser who was cooperating with the government’s investigation.
In the letter, Auburn states it was a victim to Person’s conduct, stating that the involved players, Austin Wiley and Danjel Purifoy, did not receive money to come to Auburn from Person, nor did Person offer or promise them any money during the recruitment process — but that, instead, once they were on campus, Person tried to exploit the players starting in December 2016 in a way that aligns with the timeframe of the conspiracy to steer them to using a certain financial adviser as pro players, as outlined in the federal indictment.
Wiley was ruled ineligible for the 2017-18 season, and Purifoy was ruled ineligible for the 2017-18 season plus nine games of the 2018-19 season.
Auburn’s victim impact statement says that the NCAA initially tried to attach the $91,500 alleged in the federal indictment to Wiley and Purifoy, but that Wiley received only $800 from Person over 10 months and Purifoy received only $1,250 from Person while his parents accepted roughly $4,500 in cash and hotel rooms from Person over eight months, unbeknownst to Purifoy.
The impact statement was obtained by the Opelika-Auburn News on Thursday morning through federal court records search.
The statement says that “Person exploited Purifoy’s trust by telling him that accepting the money ‘is what NBA players do,’” and that Person was also encouraging Purifoy’s parents to accept money from him in an effort to attach them to the conspiring financial advisor, unbeknownst to Purifoy.
Wiley’s relationship with Person is more complex and deeply rooted, the statement reads. Austin’s parents, Aubrey Wiley and Vickie Orr, played men’s and women’s basketball at Auburn, respectively, and in the impact statement Auburn notes that Aubrey is Person’s cousin who looked up to him like a brother, and that Orr befriended Person when they both played at Auburn at the same time — before he provided occasional financial support to them over the next 30 years during and after his NBA career.
The statement says that Austin Wiley saw Person as an uncle, saying the player took spending money from his coach and family friend, to use for things like taking his girlfriend to dinner.
“As a result of Person’s misconduct, Auburn expects to receive a formal Notice of Allegations from the NCAA in the coming months,” the impact statement reads. “While Auburn believes the NCAA investigation to date has only confirmed that any staff misconduct was isolated to Person — and that his misconduct was committed in a way so as to avoid Auburn’s detection — the University will still have to navigate the enforcement process to an ultimate conclusion, a process that may drag into yet another basketball season.”
That’s detailed in the ‘Harm to Auburn’ section in the letter, before it delves into ‘Harm to Student-Athletes’ in another section.
“Despite the fact that the NCAA has already imposed what Auburn believes are sufficient penalties for those student-athletes affected by Person’s misbehavior, the possibility exists that Auburn’s athletics department and/or men’s basketball team could face further sanction and penalties from the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions,” the statement continues.
Person avoided prison Wednesday when a federal judge sentenced him to 200 hours of community service over two years of probation, according to the Associated Press. Person pled guilty in March on a bribery conspiracy charge.