Source: Travel benefit an issue

Updated: June 3, 2009, 5:51 PM ET
By Dana O'Neil | ESPN.com

Although Derrick Rose's potentially fraudulent SAT score is garnering the headlines, it is the other more mundane charge of an extra benefit that Memphis likely will not be able to extricate itself from, a source with knowledge of the investigation told ESPN.com on Tuesday.

In its letter of response to the NCAA, the university admitted that a portion of travel expenses incurred by a player's family member -- Rose's brother, Reggie, according to several sources -- was not billed to him. Rose eventually reimbursed the university.

Although Memphis contends the lack of billing was not intentional, that Rose merely forgot to pay for two trips and it was an "administrative error," the fact remains that the nonpayment is an extra benefit. The university said that Rose, who traveled and reimbursed Memphis for five other trips, did not pay for $1,713.85 worth of travel.

"It will be difficult to prove that Memphis knew about or was involved in the SAT," the source said. "But they acknowledged he wasn't charged in regards to the other allegation. They said it 'slipped through the cracks.'"

The source also said that even if Memphis did not know about Rose's SAT score until after the season -- Rose received letters from Educational Testing Services at his Chicago home but was on campus at Memphis, according to the university -- the invalidated test score basically rendered him ineligible for the NCAA tournament.

"There's a very good chance that the [2008] Final Four will be vacated," the source said.

Dana O'Neil covers college basketball for ESPN.com.

Dana O'Neil | email

College Basketball

ALSO SEE