AU Officials Contact FBI Concerning Ward

Suspended Auburn basketball point guard Varez Ward may have bigger issues than not being able to play for the Tigers.

New Orleans, La.--Hours before the Auburn basketball team was scheduled to take the court at the SEC Tournament a published report attributing unnamed sources stated that the university has contacted the FBI, the SEC and NCAA about the possibility that point guard Varez Ward was involved in shaving points.

Ward has not played for the Tigers since their Feb. 21st loss at Florida. Coach Tony Barbee said that the redshirt sophomore was suspended from the team for violation of team rules, but has not said anything about the situation.

On Thursday afternoon, a university spokesman issued this statement: "Auburn officials were made aware of a rumor regarding an allegation two weeks ago and immediately reported it to the FBI, the NCAA and the SEC. Because of the nature of the allegation, Auburn is not in a position to make any further comment on the situation."

Neither local police nor the FBI have made any arrests in the situation and it is not known if there will be any.

Barbee has already made a move to replace Ward on the roster. The Tigers picked up a verbal commitment from combo guard Brian Greene, Jr. last Sunday. The prep school player at IMG Academy is a prospect the Tigers had not even contacted until six days before he committed to Barbee.

Ward joined the team last year, but had to sit out after transferring from the University of Texas as a freshman. At the start of his sophomore year he suffered a torn quadriceps injury and was lost for the season.

Varez Ward is shown in action vs. South Florida.

A native of Montgomery where he played at Jeff Davis High School, Ward sat out last year under transfer rules while he continued to rehab his injuries.

Still not full speed this year, he was well enough to play 27 games and start 17 times. He averaged 9.0 points per game along with 3.1 rebounds. He was credited with 103 assists, a team-high, but also had a team high 72 turnovers. Ward hit just 34.5 percent of his field goals and was 20-78 on threes. He made 82-126 free throws, a 65.1 percent average.

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