According to Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports, Auburn point guard Varez Ward is at the center of a federal point-shaving probe. Varez, who has been suspended since February 25 for violating team rules, attempted to get other players involved in the scheme, but was unsuccessful according to Robinson.
Auburn coaches reportedly became aware of possible point-shaving when a player brought his concerns to an assistant coach. From there, the NCAA and the FBI were contacted. So far, there are two games that are being investigated by the FBI: a 68-50 loss to Alabama on February 7 and a 56-53 loss to Arkansas on January 25. And let’s just say, the details don’t sound good for Ward.
• In the Feb. 7 loss to Alabama, Ward played 17 minutes, scoring three points (shooting 1-for-5 from the field and 1-for-2 from the free-throw line) and committing six turnovers with two assists. His first shot was a made layup, his second shot was blocked, his third was an air ball, his fourth was a long missed 3-pointer and his fifth was blocked on a layup attempt. Trailing 43-33 with 15:25 left, Ward turned the ball over twice in 21 seconds. He was then subbed out of the game. Ward entered again with 11:30 remaining and Alabama leading 50-35. Ward then turned the ball over twice in 2½ minutes as the Crimson Tide moved to a 58-38 lead. In the other 26 games Ward played this season, he averaged 2.7 turnovers in 29.1 minutes per game. According to sportsbook Vegas Insider, Alabama entered the game as a five-point favorite. The Crimson Tide easily covered with an 18-point win.
• In the Jan. 25 game against Arkansas, Ward checked in with 14:25 to play. He turned the ball over in the backcourt on his first possession 19 seconds later, falling to the floor as Arkansas converted the turnover into a layup. After remaining on the floor for more than a minute, Ward left the game limping on his right leg. Coach Tony Barbee later described the injury as a knee to Ward’s quadriceps. Ward’s departure left Auburn with only one reserve point guard for the remainder of the game against the Razorbacks – little-used Tony Neysmith, who hadn’t played in the previous seven games. According to Vegas Insider, Arkansas went into the game as 9½-point favorites. Auburn ultimately covered that spread without Ward, losing 56-53.
Sounds like this could get ugly.