Keeping Score

Report: NCAA on USM campus, looking into 2 players

NCAA investigators are in Hattiesburg this week as they continue a probe into the Southern Miss men's basketball team, according to a report by ESPN's Jeff Goodman.

The NCAA is investigating the conduct of the program during Donnie Tyndall's two years as head coach from 2012-14. Tyndall is now the head coach at Tennessee.

Goodman reported in a Tweet that investigators are “looking into Jeremiah Eason and Rasham Suarez.”

Eason, a 6-foot-7 forward, is a senior in his second year at USM after transferring from the College of Central Florida. Suarez is in his first season at USM and is also a transfer from the College of Central Florida.

A November story by Bleacher Report indicated that the NCAA probe is centered around improper financial benefits received by players who were in school under Proposition 48 rules. The players were enrolled in classes without a scholarship and looking to gain academic eligibility for the next season.

News that Eason and Suarez are being targeted by the NCAA may indicate that the investigation is wider than first reported. 

Neither Suarez or Eason were Prop 48 players. They were eligible to compete once they stepped on campus.

The fact that both players are from the College of Central Florida also raises questions about the involvement of Tyndall's staff with the basketball program at the Ocala, Fla., community college.

Suarez was the lone Tyndall signee from the class of 2014 that stuck with first-year head coach Doc Sadler after he was hired to replace Tyndall at USM in April.

USM has self-imposed a postseason ban for the 2014-15 season while it's in the middle of NCAA and university investigations.