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NCAA Punishes AAU Youth-Basketball Teams for Agent Ties

Three Amateur Athletic Union basketball teams will be ineligible to compete in NCAA-certified events this July because they allegedly violated prohibitions against associating with a sports agent, and a fourth must disassociate with its coach to remain eligible for competition, the NCAA announced yesterday.

The players on the teams in question, however, will remain eligible to participate in NCAA-certified summer events on other AAU teams.

The NCAA released an email from sports agent Andy Miller, the founder and president of ASM Sports, that was sent to AAU team directors T.J. Gassnola of the New England Playaz, Matt Ramker of the Florida Rams, Desmond Eastmond of the Worldwide Renegades, and coach Tony Edwards of the SEBL Elite All-Stars. In the e-mail, Miller criticizes the programs for not recruiting enough prospective first-round NBA draft picks.

"I get tired of being the 1 guy that has to get the 1st rd [sic] picks every year. I'd be happy to help you get guys + lend support. You have to want it + have to hustle. To create situations to manifest chaos + plow down walls to open up new opp's [sic]. We're facing a summer with no revenue. Yet, everyone will expect their checks, expenses reimburse [sic], etc. I try to give a consistant [sic] platform inorder [sic] to facilitate production. Am I getting the level of production in return that I want or expect?...You decided to be apart [sic] of it on some level...Do more than just give it thought, act on it."

The NCAA expressly prohibits agents from having any involvement, whatsoever, with NCAA-certified summer basketball events (including with teams participating in an event).

Therefore, based on the email from Miller, the New England Playaz, Florida Rams, and Worldwide Renegades are banned from participating in any NCAA-certified events this summer.

The SEBL Elite All-Stars can still compete, so long as the team disassociates from Coach Edwards first. According to ESPN.com's Dave Telep, the team already replaced Edwards and thus can continue with its previous summer schedule.

The other three teams can re-form with the same players, provided that they operate under a different name, wear different uniforms, and prove to the NCAA that Eastmond, Gassnola, and Ranker are no longer affiliated with the new programs in any way, shape, or form.

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