University making sure no other violations occurred
PHOENIX -- Arizona State running back Loren Wade remains suspended from the team while the university's athletic department conducts an internal investigation of a possible NCAA violation involving the payment of Wade's utility bill.
The university is reviewing records within the athletic department to make sure there are no other potential offenses. School officials will then send a report to the Pacific-10 Conference for review. The conference's compliance committee is expected to recommend any punishment to the NCAA, which would make the final determination.
"There is nothing new to report," Mark Brand, assistant athletic director for media relations, said Thursday. The process "will take many months," Brand said.
Wade was suspended from the team two weeks ago when athletic department officials discovered that a compliance assistant in the school's compliance and recruitment department put her name on a line of credit to allow the running back to pay an overdue utility bill, said a source close to the investigation, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The money was to be repaid, the source said.
The Arizona Republic reported Thursday that Wade is also said to have borrowed the compliance officer's car.
The employee, Wendy Adams, was fired after the utility bill incident was discovered and confirmed.
Unless a more widespread problem is discovered, athletic department officials do not believe the case will result in the forfeiting of any games or other major penalty.
The 19th-ranked Sun Devils are 5-0, their best start since they went 11-0 in the 1996 regular season. The team is off this week and then plays No. 1 Southern California in Los Angeles on Oct. 16.
Wade, a sophomore, started the first three games. His replacement following the suspension, Randy Hill, was knocked out for the season with a knee injury against Oregon State two weeks ago.
Hakim Hill, playing with his broken right forearm in a cast, rushed for 134 yards in last Saturday's 28-13 victory at Oregon. He hopes to have the cast removed before the USC game.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press