ATLANTA — Kennesaw State University athletics has stolen some of the Atlanta Falcons' draft-day thunder ... but not in a good way.
On Thursday night, news broke of new KSU head coach Amir Abdur-Rahim being involved in a potential scandal dating back to his days as an assistant with Texas A&M.
According to a tweet from CBS Sports writer Matt Norlander, Abdur-Rahim, the brother of former Atlanta Hawks star Shareef Abdur-Rahim, was implicated in federal testimony earlier in the day citing an incident which allegedly involved the then-Aggies assistant being involved in an incident involving Robert Williams – a talented center who played two years in College Station before declaring for the NBA (Boston Celtics).
Norlander first inferred Abdur-Rahim was tied to shipping shoes stuffed with $11,000 to Williams but later clarified that Abdur-Rahim wasn't involved in that - but may have still been involved in sketchy parties in Vegas.
Here is a sampling of tweets from Norlander:
Details are sketchy at this point; but any truth to this matter could be devastating to Kennesaw State, which officially introduced Abdur-Rahim as head coach last Friday.
Friday morning the school released an additional statement saying Abdur-Rahim denied any wrongdoing during his interview on Thursday.
"During the hiring process for a new head men’s basketball coach, KSU Athletics conducted a thorough NCAA compliance background check on the final candidates. This process included NCAA compliance review with previous institutions and confirmation from the NCAA Committee on Infractions that the candidates were all clear of level I or level II violations. According to Texas A&M University officials, there were no NCAA violation findings as a result of their comprehensive investigation concerning the FBI probe of the MBB Coaching staff. Officials reported that Coach Amir Abdur-Rahim cooperated fully with the investigation. Coach Amir Abdur-Rahim explicitly denied any wrong doing during a KSU NCAA compliance interview on Thursday and further stated that he has not engaged in any efforts to provide impermissible benefits to prospects or current student-athletes. KSU will continue to monitor the ongoing federal investigation and ensure that all KSU employees are in compliance, past and present, with NCAA, state and federal regulations in support of our student-athletes and Owl Athletics.”
UGA released a statement late Thursday that read:
”We will not comment on an ongoing federal proceeding. However, UGAA conducts background checks for and thoroughly evaluates all potential coaching staff members’ record of NCAA rules compliance. This evaluation includes, but is not limited to, communication with the Southeastern Conference office and the NCAA enforcement staff. Once employed, UGAA continues to monitor all staff members in accordance with NCAA and SEC rules, and investigates any information suggesting a possible rules violation."
Stay tuned to 11Alive News, as we learn more about this incident and its subsequent fallout.