Two Texas football players’ could lose their NCAA eligibility after an agent bought their meals, according to a report from the Austin American-Statesman.
According to the report, the incident has been reported to the NCAA but it is unclear when the event took place. The players’ eligibility hangs in the balance, as getting a meal purchased by an agent is an NCAA violation.
The names of the players were not disclosed. University spokesman Nick Voinis told the Statesman that the NCAA is investigating through its regular process but didn’t not answer any further questions.
UPDATE (July 16):
While Texas athletic officials have yet to release names involved in the investigation, an agent based in St. Louis bragged on Twitter about having meals with four Texas football players.
In March, Justin Bingman, former Longhorn Mason Walters’ representative, tweeted multiple times about having meals with defensive end Cedric Reed, defensive tackle Desmond Jackson, linebacker Jordan Hicks and linebacker Steve Edmond.
The Longhorn centric website Orangebloods.com found the tweets Tuesday but they have since been taken down after the Austin American-Statesman attempted to contact Bingman.
On March 22, Bingman tweeted: “Just had a great dinner with @Ced_Reed88 He and his dad are great guys!”
Bingman followed up on March 23 with “Had dinner with @TexasBoy99tank and his Dad last night. They are both great guys and looking forward to the next time,” about Jackson.
On March 24, Bingman tweeted about Edmond, “Had dinner with @SteveBigMoney33 last night, MLB for Texas. We all had a great time with many stories. #Longhorns”
Bingman’s final tweet, “Just had dinner with a great young man that is going to do great this year for Texas @JHicks_3 #Longhorns #LonghornsNation”
All of these players were underclassman at the time and have since returned for their senior year. While it is unknown whether Bingman bought the players’ meals, if he did, that is an NCAA violation and they may all lose their NCAA eligibility.
UPDATE: July 25
After six players were kicked off the team, the Longhorns have received some good news as the University compliance office cleared two players who had dinner with a sports agent.
Sports agent Justin Bingman had dinner with defensive tackle Desmond Jackson, defensive end Cedric Reed, linebackers Steve Edmond and Jordan Hicks in March.
All four will be available for Texas’ home opener Aug. 30 against North Texas.