Bradley contends tampering involved in transfer

Updated: January 25, 2003, 5:38 PM ET
Associated Press

PEORIA, Ill. -- Former Bradley scoring leader Danny Granger has transferred to the University of New Mexico, sparking allegations of tampering by the Braves' athletic department.

The 6-foot-8 sophomore, who led Bradley in scoring, rebounds and blocked shots, enrolled and talked to the New Mexico coaching staff Friday, said Greg Remington, the university's sports information director.

Under NCAA rules, Granger can join the Lobos next January and would have 1 years of eligibility left.

Granger, who appeared at a news conference Friday wearing a New Mexico Lobos T-shirt, said he no longer felt Bradley was the place for him.

''I'm grateful for what Bradley did for me, but after the coaching change happened and the guys that recruited me left, it wasn't the same,'' he said.

Granger, who left Bradley a week ago saying he wanted to attend a school closer to his Louisiana home, averaged 19.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocked shots for the Braves this year.

The transfer has met resistance at Bradley, which contends Granger talked to his new coaches ahead of time. Potential transfers cannot talk to a new school without written permission of their old school under NCAA rules.

New Mexico coach Ritchie McKay denied the Lobos did that.

''Never have we talked to Danny about transferring,'' McKay said while sitting alongside Granger at a news conference. ''We're innocent in this process. My disappointment is that our name is being dragged through the mud, especially on the national level.''

''If we're proven differently,'' McKay said, ''then I would fully take all the consequences.''

Duane Broussard, a former Braves assistant who recruited Granger to Bradley, is now on the New Mexico coaching staff. McKay too formerly was an assistant at Bradley.

Granger said his relationship with Broussard was a big factor in his decision to transfer to New Mexico.

Granger's father, Danny Sr., told the Peoria Journal-Star that neither he nor his son talked to New Mexico coaches before the transfer.

''I consider that extremely unlikely,'' said Bradley athletics director Kent Kavanagh.

McKay said Friday that Granger's father called him last spring, after the coaching staff changed at Bradley. McKay said he told the elder Granger he could not talk to him unless his son was released from his scholarship at Bradley.

McKay said when New Mexico found out that Granger was going to leave Bradley, ''the same process unfolded.''

''Anytime you have a player of Danny Granger's ability, there's going to be interest,'' McKay said. ''But there was nothing we could do until he got a release.''

McKay, a Bradley assistant from 1991-93, said Broussard has talked to Granger and his other former Bradley players, but the conversations ''were not of a recruiting nature.''

McKay called Granger ''a great fit for our program.''

Bradley will not release Granger from his scholarship, which means he will have to pay his own way for his first year at New Mexico, said Bobby Parker, Bradley's assistant athletic director for communications.

He declined comment on whether Bradley will ask the NCAA to investigate. The NCAA can launch investigations on its own or through requests from member schools.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press