Pouncey denies accepting money

Updated: July 22, 2010, 12:53 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Former Florida standout offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey is denying allegations that he accepted $100,000 from a player agent before this past season's Allstate Sugar Bowl.

Florida is internally investigating what sources described as an allegation that a representative of an agent paid Pouncey between the Gators' loss to Alabama in the Southeastern Conference championship game and their season-ending Sugar Bowl victory over Cincinnati.

On Wednesday, Pouncey, through attorney Stephen Stanfield, issued a two-sentence statement denying the allegation.

"I did not accept $100,000, it is an absolutely ridiculous claim. I have completely cooperated with the investigation and answered any and all questions put to me," he said.

On Monday, Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley told ESPN.com the university was made aware of the situation in June, reported it to law enforcement, and shared what it knew with the NCAA and the SEC. "At this time we have no information that has indicated that there are any compliance issues for the University of Florida," he said.

The NCAA on Monday acknowledged it was working with the university but declined further comment.

Pouncey left Florida after his junior year and was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Two sources briefed on the anonymous letter sent to Florida told ESPN's Joe Schad that it was postmarked in Canada. Two sources also told Schad that the letter was accompanied by photographic evidence of an alleged runner for an agent in social situations with Pouncey and his brother Mike, including at two awards shows.

Mike Pouncey will be a senior offensive lineman with the Gators next season.

The sources told Schad that the Pounceys have provided phone, bank and credit card statements that do not show any large payments. Two sources added that Maurkice Pouncey said he paid for a Cadillac Escalade and jewelry after the NFL draft with a deferred line of credit and did at times lend the Escalade to Mike in Gainesville, Fla.

The Pouncey investigation is the latest in a series of agent-related inquiries making ripples in college football.

Sources told ESPN last week that NCAA investigators have interviewed North Carolina players, including defensive end Marvin Austin, about attending a party hosted by a player agent in Miami Beach earlier this summer. South Carolina tight end Weslye Saunders also confirmed to ESPN on Sunday that he recently spoke with NCAA investigators about the same party. And Alabama is now looking at whether highly rated defensive lineman Marcel Dareus attended the party as well.

North Carolina announced last week that an NCAA investigation is under way at the school, and subsequent media reports have tied it to alleged agent interaction with multiple players.

South Carolina athletic director Eric Hyman says the NCAA is investigating a possible rules violation of one of its athletic programs.

ESPN college football reporter Joe Schad and ESPN.com senior writer Pat Forde contributed to this report.

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