Five SEC football players received improper benefits from multiple NFL agents and financial advisers before the end of their collegiate careers, according to a report published online Wednesday.
According to Yahoo Sports, the benefits were funneled through former Alabama defensive end Luther Davis to star Alabama offensive tackle D.J. Fluker, Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray, Tennessee defensive end Maurice Couch, Mississippi State tackle Fletcher Cox and Mississippi State wide receiver Chad Bumphis.
Davis, the report states, is alleged to have acted as an intermediary between the agents and advisors and the five players.
Three of the players -- Fluker, Bray and Cox -- are currently on NFL rosters. Bumphis was released by the Miami Dolphins Aug. 31. Only Couch, a starter for Tennessee this season, is still playing college football.
College athletes are forbidden under NCAA rules to receive benefits from agents or marketing representatives.
The identity of the five players, according to the report, "were revealed in a web of financial and text message records" that belonged to Davis and were turned over to Yahoo "by a source with ties to the NFL agent community."
According to the report, the records show:
- At least $45,550 moving from agents and financial advisors to Davis during a period stretching more than a year, from September 2011 to December 2012
- At least $12,700 in cash, airfare, living expenses or other receipts moving between Davis and the five players during the same time period
Yahoo Sports says a line-item invoice it obtained that was emailed from Davis to Fluker's former financial advisor showed 49 transactions from February of this year. Under the subject line "D.J. Fluker Invoice," the email listed $33,755 in expenditures.
Three agents and one financial advisor confirmed to Yahoo Sports they gave money to Davis but claimed having no knowledge of Davis providing benefits to players. Two other financial advisors declined comment and another agent said Davis was a contact between the players but denied knowing the former Alabama player's financial dealings.
Davis declined comment to Yahoo Sports, but the site said it was able to authenticate text message records, Western Union fund transfers, banking statements, flight receipts and what it said was other financial material linking Davis to the other players.
Alabama athletic director Bill Battle said in a statement the university was already aware of some of the allegations and was looking into the situation. Mississippi State said in a statement to Yahoo Sports that it would "do our due diligence to evaluate any potential concerns."
Tennessee officials declined comment to Yahoo Sports and the NCAA had no immediate comment, according to the report, which came in the midst of a series of reports by Sports Illustrated detailing alleged misconduct by the Oklahoma State football program.