Originally created 06/30/03

Auburn confers with NCAA on basketball probe



AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn officials have met with the NCAA enforcement staff in hopes of reaching a conclusion to its investigation into the men's basketball program.

There are still issues to be resolved, however.

Auburn officials met with the enforcement staff at NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis on Friday.

The Birmingham News reported Sunday that the meeting was called to obtain a "status report" on the year-old investigation. Auburn Athletics Director David Housel, university president William Walker and attorneys representing the school attended.

The NCAA has been investigating the Auburn program over charges of improper benefits from an AAU coach and other inducements. The NCAA told the school last October in a preliminary letter of inquiry that it would complete its investigation by last Dec. 1.

It did not.

The enforcement staff will determine if a formal letter of inquiry is needed.

Auburn has been working with the NCAA to determine charges of impropriety brought by a self-described sports agent, Mike Walker, over the recruitment of Jackie Butler of McComb, Miss.

Butler's attorney, Donald Jackson, said Walker told the NCAA that Butler and his family received inappropriate benefits from AAU coach Mark Komara and Auburn.

Jackson said Walker's allegations were untrue and added that Auburn, Komara and Butler are innocent.

The NCAA interviewed two Auburn players and two assistant coaches last September, but has not interviewed two key figures in former Auburn assistant coach Mike Wilson or Komara.

NCAA enforcement staff member Jim Elworth questioned Auburn players Brandon Robinson and Marco Killingsworth about their relationship with Wilson and Komara.

The NCAA also interviewed Chadd Moore, who plays for Cincinnati.

Butler has verbally committed to Mississippi State and has been interviewed twice by the NCAA.