Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Beverley backs off earlier claims
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Former Arkansas guard Patrick Beverley repeated his earlier claim that somebody wrote a paper for him while he was with the Razorbacks, but he backed off comments he'd made that implicated teammates.
"I want to clear the line. I took full responsibility. I don't know what happened with another player," Beverley told The Associated Press on Tuesday in Minneapolis. "I know that young lady did write my paper, and I was punished for it, and I accept my punishment, and I learn from my mistakes."
Beverley played two seasons with the Razorbacks but was suspended last August. He left Arkansas to play for a Ukrainian team.
He was working out with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday, less than a month before the NBA draft.
When Beverley left the Razorbacks, Arkansas did not release details about his suspension. The former Hog spoke about it recently in a video interview with DraftExpress.
"Someone from Arkansas was doing papers, was doing me and some of my teammates' papers," Beverley said. "Basically, instead of ratting my team out, I just said it was just me. I was forced to have a year of ineligibility."
After those comments, Arkansas released a statement saying it had "conducted a full and thorough review of the matter" and taken action based on its findings.
On Tuesday, Beverley backtracked a bit, and Arkansas chancellor G. David Gearhart said he didn't know of any evidence that Beverley's initial comments about his former teammates were accurate. Gearhart said athletic director Jeff Long was looking into the matter.
"If we find there is any veracity to it, we will take the appropriate actions," Gearhart said.
The Razorbacks went 2-14 during the Southeastern Conference regular season in 2008-09, and the program has experienced a lot of roster turnover in the last couple years. Beverley's recent comments added to a difficult year for coach John Pelphrey's team.
"It just puts the university, it puts our program in a tough spot," Gearhart said. "We are determined to do everything we can to ferret out problems like this and look into it immediately."
Beverley was the SEC newcomer of the year in 2006-07. He's been trying to make the most of his recent workouts in the United States. Tuesday's session included about 20 to 30 scouts, general managers and personnel types watching. After finishing, Beverley went around the court and shook seemingly everyone's hand.
"I've been having very good workouts. I had a phenomenal workout yesterday in Golden State. It's just all about keeping the momentum going," Beverley said. "I've been under the radar the last seven, eight months. It's easier for a coach to go to UConn and Syracuse than to go to Ukraine."