AU Not Commenting On Ward's Indictment

Former AU and Texas basketball player Varez Ward has been indicted and charged with being involved in a point shaving scheme.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs said on Tuesday the university will have no comment on a federal indictment of former Auburn basketball player Varez Ward, who was dismissed from the AU team prior to the 2012 SEC Basketball Tournament.

Federal prosecutors have charged the point guard with trying to cause his team to not cover the point spread during a Jan. 25th, 2012 SEC game vs. Arkansas. The Razorbacks, who were a nine-point favorite, only won the game by three points. Ward was injured in the game and played less than a minute.

On Tuesday federal prosecutors announced that Ward was indicted by a federal grand jury in Montgomery. U.S. Attorney George Beck said that Ward was arrested Sunday on two counts of bribery relating to a sports contest and conspiracy for allegedly trying to fix the point spread for the Tigers' game against Arkansas. Ward, whose bond is set at $25,000, could face up to five years prison time on each count if convicted in the case.

"It is obviously an extremely serious situation any time allegations of point shaving are made," Jacobs said on Tuesday. "When this matter was brought to our attention in 2012, Auburn immediately reported what we knew to the FBI, the NCAA and the SEC. Since this matter is a pending criminal case, it is not appropriate for us to make any further comments."

Ward is a native of Montgomery. He signed with the University of Texas after a standout high school career at Jeff Davis High. He transferred to Auburn where he sat out as a redshirt for a season before playing during the 2011-12 season.

Ward was dismissed from the team in March 2012 for what Coach Tony Barbee said was a violation of team rules. AU officials made this statement at the time: "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."

Ward joined the team in 2010, but had to sit out after transferring from the University of Texas as a freshman. In game three of his sophomore season (2009-2010) at Texas he suffered a torn quadriceps injury and was lost for the season. As a freshman in 2008-2009 he averaged 4.2 points per game while playing in 33 contests for the Longhorns.

Varez Ward is shown in action vs. South Florida.

Ward played in 27 games for the Tigers, averaging 9.0 points and 3.1 rebounds per contest. He made 103 assists with 72 turnovers and hit 34.5 percent of his field goals and made 65.1 of his foul shots.


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