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Duke's Amile Jefferson scores two points and draws a foul against Clemson's Jaron Blossomgame during second-half action in Durham, N.C. on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017. (Travis Bell/SIDELINE CAROLINA)

CLEMSON — Exactly one week ago, Clemson head basketball coach Brad Brownell sat in a meeting with the media prior to his team’s game against the Duke Blue Devils and denied any knowledge of Clemson being mentioned in the ongoing FBI and NCAA probe of bribery in college basketball.

When asked if Clemson was involved in the investigation, he stated, “No, nothing. I haven’t heard from anybody.”

All that changed Friday when Yahoo Sports released the names of players currently listed in the investigation — including former Clemson Tiger Jaron Blossomgame.

According to the report, which was taken from expense sheets from ASM Sports agent Andy Miller, “Former Clemson player Jaron Blossomgame received a payment by Venmo while in school for $1,100.”

NCAA President Mark Emmert released the following statement early Friday via the NCAA website:

“These allegations, if true, point to systematic failures that must be fixed and fixed now if we want college sports in America. Simply put, people who engage in this kind of behavior have no place in college sports. They are an affront to all those who play by the rules. Following the Southern District of New York's indictments last year, the NCAA Board of Governors and I formed the independent Commission on College Basketball, chaired by Condoleezza Rice, to provide recommendations on how to clean up the sport. With these latest allegations, it's clear this work is more important now than ever. The Board and I are completely committed to making transformational changes to the game and ensuring all involved in college basketball do so with integrity. We also will continue to cooperate with the efforts of federal prosecutors to identify and punish the unscrupulous parties seeking to exploit the system through criminal acts.”

Blossomgame declared for the 2016 NBA Draft but did not sign with an agent. He went through the NBA Draft Combine and was a standout

player, but opted to return for his senior season, during which he cemented his legacy as a two-time All-ACC performer.

He also amassed 1,733 points over his career, fifth most in Clemson history. He also had 831 rebounds, eighth best in program history, and finished his career in the top 10 in Clemson history in starts (125), minutes (3,924), 20-point games (32), double-figure games (87), field goals (627) and free throws (383).

Zach Lentz is a Clemson University alumnus who got his start working with the Tigers basketball team from 1999-2004. Now a resident of Orangeburg County, he reports on Clemson sports as a correspondent for The Times and Democrat.


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