McKenzie Moore is averaging 13.1 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.
EL PASO, Texas (AP) — UTEP said Tuesday it has kicked three players off the basketball team after they bet on at least one sporting event.
The university’s executive vice president, Richard Adauto, said officials in December received information that players may have been betting on games. The school contacted the FBI, and two players were suspended.
Adauto said the three players were not believed to be betting on games they played in or participating in point-shaving — trying to affect the score of a game to influence the outcome for bettors. He added that university officials did not suspect anyone else on the team of gambling.
“We think we have cleaned up what we found and heard,” Adauto said.
The three players are McKenzie Moore, Justin Crosgile and Jalen Ragland.
Adauto says all three will not return to classes or the team.
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Justin Crosgile and his teammates, McKenzie Moore and Jalen Ragland, are not believed to have bet on games they were playing in at UTEP.
Moore, a junior college transfer from Pleasant Hill, Calif., was averaging 13.1 points and 4.5 rebounds a game. Crosgile and Ragland had smaller roles, but coach Tim Floyd said he had expected all three players to contribute to this year’s team, which is 10-5 with Conference USA play starting Thursday against Charlotte.
“I’m crushed personally that this is happened,” Floyd said.
Floyd is in his third year with the Miners, trying to rebuild the program where he was an assistant under Don Haskins from 1978-86. In his first year, UTEP went 25-10 and made the NIT. The Miners slipped to 15-17 in his second season and went 18-14 last year, good enough for third in CUSA.
Floyd arrived in El Paso after serving as an assistant coach with the New Orleans Hornets. Before that, he led USC to three straight 20-win seasons and three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances, but quit in 2009 after he was accused of giving $ 1,000 in cash to a middleman who helped steer O.J. Mayo to the school.
Floyd has denied the allegations while the school wound up banning itself from postseason play and throwing out the wins from Mayo’s lone season with the Trojans in 2007-08.
While USC self-imposed sanctions on its basketball program over Mayo’s recruitment, the NCAA did not find any violations committed by Floyd. When he became UTEP’s coach in 2010, Floyd said he wanted it to be clear that his resignation from USC was “not an admission of guilt.” “