Auburn has ruled Austin Wiley and Danjel Purifoy ineligible ahead of its exhibition game against Barry on Nov. 2. The decision comes a month after the FBI bribery and corruption scandal was brought to the light.
Assistant Coach Chuck Person was one of four coaches named in the initial complaint, and is accused of accepting $91,500 in bribes. Person allegedly distributed $18,500 between the families of two student athletes in exchange for them using financial advisor Louis Martin Blazer III when they left for the NBA.
Auburn released a statement regarding its ruling early Thursday:
“To avoid any potential eligibility issues, Auburn Athletics has decided to hold men’s basketball players Austin Wiley and Danjel Purifoy out indefinitely. Because this is related to an ongoing investigation, we cannot comment further at this time.”
Pearl told media he had his ‘suspicions’ of the two players identities, but was kept out of the loop by the investigators.
While I do not know with absolute certainty who the two unnamed players are in this federal complaint, I have had my suspicions of who these players are, what their identities are likely to be. However, out of an abundance of caution, and consistent with our previously stated positions, because there is an ongoing investigation, I cannot further comment at this time.”
The decision is precautionary, however, it doesn’t look good for Bruce Pearl’s team.
Both players are entering their sophomore season. Purifoy was the Tigers’ second leading scorer last season, averaging 11.5 points per game. Wiley, a 7-foot center, played half a season after reclassifying to the 2016 recruiting class. He managed 8.8 points and 4.7 rebounds for the Tigers.