Originally written on Rumors and Rants  |  Last updated 6/19/13

Former Auburn basketball player Kyievarez “Varez” Ward has been charged with conspiring with gamblers to throw games during the 2011-12 college basketball season. Ward was suspended midway through the 2012 season as the FBI investigated him for point-shaving. Ward faces two bribery-related counts for “commerce to influence, in any way, by bribery a sporting contest, with knowledge that the purpose of such scheme was to influence by bribery.” The indictment does not name any co-conspirators. Ward was suspended before Auburn’s February 25, 2012 game against Arkansas when teammates told coach Tony Barbee of point-shaving concerns. The university then notified the FBI, which began investigating whether or not Ward received money for influencing the outcome of games. The two games in question are a January 25, 2012 loss to Arkansas and a 68-50 loss to Alabama on February 7, 2012. Ward was coming off a career-high of 24 points but only managed to score three against the Crimson Tide on February 7. He played 17 minutes, shooting 1-for-5 from the field and 1-for-2 from the free throw line. He also had six turnovers and just two assists. Ward was a highly-recruited prep player out of Montgomery, Alabama and began his collegiate career at Texas. After playing well as a freshman, his sophomore year was cut short after rupturing his right quadriceps tendon early in the season. He decided to transfer to Auburn in August of 2010, choosing to be closer to his family. He started 17 of Auburn’s first 27 games in 2012 and was averaging 8.9 points and 3.8 assists before being suspended. This is a serious charge and if convicted Ward could face real jail time.

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