Prosecutors have been told that five Tulane University basketball players divided about $18,000 for shaving points in two games last month.
The Times Picayune-States Item today quoted unidentified sources close to the expanding bribery investigation as saying prosecutors were looking into a trip made to Las Vegas by at least one of the students. An attorney familiar with the case confirmed that dollar figure today.
Prosecutors were seeking to determine whether large bets were made at the time and whether money was wired to Las Vegas for a bet before one of the games involved.
In addition to the $18,000, prosecutors have been told the players received a lesser but undisclosed amount of money from convicted bookmaker Roland Ruiz for point-shaving in one of the two games.
Seven people have been arrested in the alleged scheme, three of them players. Two players have been granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for testimony.
Ruiz, 48, was booked Friday on five counts of sports bribery and one count of conspiracy to commit sports bribery. Tulane student David Rothenberg, 22, of Wilton, Conn., also was arrested Friday and booked for conspiracy to commit sports bribery.
According to reports, prosecutors have been told the players received about $1,000 each for shaving points in a game against Southern Mississippi Feb. 2 and about $2,500 each for shaving points in the game against Memphis State Feb. 20. The investigation centers on those two Metro Conference contests, which were played in the Tulane arena.
Bobby Thompson, one of the arrested players, volunteered to the district attorney's office that he had agreed through a middleman to have the other four players and himself participate in the point-shaving scheme in the Memphis State game, reports said.
Thompson reportedly told prosecutors he then divided up the money received from Ruiz through the middleman with the other four players.
The investigation accelerated with statements from two players, Clyde Eads and Jon Johnson. Under a grant of immunity, the two implicated themselves and three others. There was no evidence the other eight players on the Tulane team were involved.
A grand jury began investigating the allegations Thursday and is to reconvene this Thursday.
John (Hot Rod) Williams was charged along with Thompson, a senior guard from New Orleans, and David Dominique, a little-used sophomore guard-forward from New Iberia.
Bribery and drug charges were brought against seniors Gary Kranz of New Rochelle, N.Y., and Mark Olensky of Fair Lawn, N.J., both non-athletes at Tulane. All have been released on bond.