Democracy Dies in Darkness

Maryland Terrapins

Maryland launches review of men’s basketball; Mark Turgeon denies involvement with agent

February 24, 2018 at 4:10 PM

Maryland Coach Mark Turgeon guides his team during Saturday’s loss to Michigan. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Maryland Coach Mark Turgeon said Saturday that the school is conducting an internal review of the men’s basketball program in the wake of a report Friday linking former Terrapins center Diamond Stone to the ongoing FBI probe into corruption in college basketball.

Turgeon acknowledged the internal investigation after his team’s 85-61 loss to Michigan in College Park, the worst home loss in his tenure at Maryland. The university’s president, Wallace D. Loh, along with interim athletic director Damon Evans, are leading the internal review along with the school’s compliance office.

Related: [Terps, under a dark cloud, get rained on by Michigan]

The university’s investigation centers on allegations that Stone was paid more than $14,000 by an agent during the 2015-16 season, his only one at Maryland, and is not focused on any current players, according to school spokesman Zack Bolno. No current Maryland player or staff member has been implicated in the FBI’s probe. There has been no timetable set on when the school’s investigation into the Stone allegations might be completed.

Turgeon also said Maryland had not been contacted by the NCAA as of Saturday afternoon, although that is expected to happen within the coming days.

“I’ve always prided myself on doing things the right way. I’ve done that my whole career,” Turgeon said. “I have absolutely zero relationship with that agent, that agency. Wouldn’t know him if he walked in the room today, and we’ll cooperate anyway we can with the investigation.

Turgeon was referring to former NBA agent Andy Miller and his agency, ASM Sports, which allegedly paid Stone $14,303, according to a report published Friday by Yahoo Sports.

Related: [Reports: Arizona’s Sean Miller discussed $100,000 bribe; more than 20 programs implicated in probe]

That news rocked Maryland’s program and forced Turgeon to address it with his team before Friday’s practice, even though most of the players never played with Stone, who declared for the NBA draft after his freshman season. “He told us it had nothing to do with us,” sophomore guard Anthony Cowan Jr. said. “When he said that, I think everyone really shut it out.”

Turgeon wasn’t able to shut it out as he met with members of the media Saturday after his team finished its worst regular season since joining the Big Ten in 2014-15. The first question he was asked was not about basketball; it was whether anyone from his staff was involved with Miller or his agency.

“There’s no involvement with us or our staff. None. Zero,” he said.

Turgeon also refused to use the report as an excuse for his team’s lackluster performance Saturday, which marked the first time that Maryland had lost by more than 18 points at home since 1998. When asked how difficult the past 24 hours had been for him, Turgeon replied: “Not difficult at all, because I haven’t given it any thought. I’m pissed about it, but I haven’t given it any thought. I’m disappointed I didn’t have my team ready, but that news does nothing to me.”

More college basketball:

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Will Bruno Fernando’s strides with Terps steer him toward the NBA?

Drexel sets NCAA record with 34-point comeback win against Delaware

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So your NCAA title was vacated. What do you do with all the trophies and banners?

Roman Stubbs is a high school sports enterprise writer for The Washington Post. Previously, he spent four years covering University of Maryland athletics for The Post. He previously contributed to the Associated Press and has written for various publications across the United States and in South Africa.

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