Brauman Indicted In Junior College Fraud Case

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas assistant track coach Lance Brauman was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday, U.S. Attorney Eric Melgren announced.

Allegations against Brauman, the Razorbacks sprints and hurdlers coach since 2002, took place during his tenure as Barton County Community College's track coach from 1997-2002. None of the allegations are related to the University of Arkansas.

Brauman did not return messages left on his cell phone by The Morning News on Thursday. Hogs track coach John McDonnell released a statement through the Arkansas sports information department Thursday which said he would let the legal system run its course before making any decisions on Brauman's status.

"I'm aware of the legal matter concerning Barton County Community College and several of its current and former employees including Lance Brauman," McDonnell said in the release. "The case doesn't involve the University of Arkansas. Coach Brauman will continue to serve in his role as an assistant coach with our program as every individual is entitled to the presumption of innocence.

"Due to the pending nature of this legal matter, we will have no further comment at this time."

McDonnell backed up the statement during a phone interview Thursday.

"We support him 100 percent," McDonnell said. "He's innocent until proven guilty."

Two others were indicted Wednesday including former Barton basketball coach Ryan Cross and current Barton athletic director Neil Elliott. Three other former Barton coaches have pled guilty in the case.

The indictment charges Brauman with three separate counts. They are embezzlement from student assistance programs, theft concerning programs receiving federal funds and making a false material declaration to a grand jury on Sept. 21.

It alleges Brauman prepared, aided and abetted the preparation of false work study time sheets, representing the payment of approximately $16,809 in federal funds and $109,477 in campus employment funds to student athletes not entitled to the funds. The indictment also alleges Brauman testified the student-athletes were paid for work they performed even though he knew that not to be true at the time.

Brauman faces a maximum combined sentence of 20 years in federal prison without parole if convicted. He's scheduled for an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Wichita, Kan., on Jan. 4.

MORNING NEWS SPORTS WRITER DUSTIN DEARMAN ALSO CONTRIBUTED TO THIS REPORT.


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