BYU may be in hot water with the NCAA after allegations arose that former players may have received improper benefits.
Scott Garrard of 1280 The Zone in Salt Lake City first reported that the Cougars were launching an investigation into the claims:
Can confirm a BYU investigation into allegations a former BYU staff member provided llegal gifts to current and former players— Scott Garrard (@ScottyG1280) May 21, 2014
Sam Leaf, a manager of former BYU wide receiver Cody Hoffman, told 1280 the Zone that Hoffman had been contacted by BYU "a couple of months ago." The school requested Hoffman to come in and answer questions about possible improper benefits provided to players.
Leaf told the radio station Hoffman refused to talk to the school and was focused on moving on to the NFL. Leaf said he was confident Hoffman had not received any illegal benefits, but Leaf wouldn't comment if he knew others that were involved.
According to Drew, Duane Busby, former director of operations for the BYU football team, provided the alleged improper benefits. Busby retired from his post in March, which Drew intimated may have been a result of the ongoing investigation.
"The sources said the investigation has been going on for several months," he wrote. "They said it has been alleged that Busby provided heavily discounted or rent-free housing, free meals and other gifts to selected players he favored, mostly offensive players and skill players."
Drew also said that he had talked to former defensive tackle Eathyn Manumaleuna, who denied any knowledge of players receiving improper benefits. Manumaleuna did say, though, that Busby's retirement came as a surprise with little warning:
Just talked to former BYU DT Eathyn Manumaleuna. He said he is not aware of any BYU players receiving improper benefits. "News to me."— Jay Drew (@drewjay) May 21, 2014
Manumaleuna said Duane Busby "just up and left out of nowhere" in March and nobody was told exactly why.— Jay Drew (@drewjay) May 21, 2014
Eathyn Manumaleuna said some players had closer relationships with Busby than others, but "I have no idea if he was giving them things."— Jay Drew (@drewjay) May 21, 2014
School spokesman Duff Tittle said in a statement, "We are aware of the allegations and have been conducting a thorough review of the matter," via McMurphy.
As Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman tweeted out, this is only the latest in a series of setbacks for the Cougars:
Rough month for #BYU: every Big (& not so big) league wants nothing to do w playing em & now BYU's being investigated for improper benefits.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) May 21, 2014
CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd reported that the Mountain West was looking into whether BYU would be a good non-conference opponent for its schools. That followed similar actions by both the SEC and ACC.
Depending on the result of BYU's ongoing investigation, scheduling may be the least of the Cougars' problems. McMurphy did point out that BYU is "the only school that has won an AP national championship in football and has never had a major NCAA violation or received NCAA sanctions."
Despite that clean record, the NCAA would likely bring the hammer down on BYU if any wrongdoing is revealed to have occurred in Provo.