BYU confirmed Wednesday afternoon that it is conducting an investigation regarding possible improper benefits received by Cougar football players.
BYU associate athletic director over communications Duff Tittle sent out a text message Wednesday afternoon that said, "BYU is aware of the allegations and is conducting a thorough review of the matter."
That confirms the fact that there is an investigation but makes no statement regarding the accuracy of the rumors.
As expected, the official NCAA response doesn't confirm or deny possible investigations at that level:
"Due to rules put in place by our membership, we cannot comment on current, pending or potential investigations," NCAA associate director of public and media relations Emily James said in an email sent Wednesday afternoon.
On 1280 the Zone radio station, Scott Garrard played a clip with an interview with Cody Hoffman's manager, Sam Leaf, in which Leaf confirmed that Hoffman had been contacted "a couple of months ago" by BYU and asked to come in to answer some questions about possible improper benefits being given to certain players.
Leaf said Hoffman refused, saying he was focused on moving on to the NFL. Leaf said he was confident that Hoffman had not received anything illegal but Leaf had no comment when asked if Hoffman had heard of others who were involved.
There are a wide variety of rumors saying both former and current players are being investigated as well as rumors regarding who provided benefits and what benefits were provided.
Without official confirmation, I believe it is unfair to detail names or infractions. I do believe the truth will come out sooner rather than later, since this has been simmering for some time now.
To be fair, an institution should immediately investigate even if it hears of anything that might possibly be a violation, just to ensure that it didn't really happen. That's all we know for sure has happened so far at BYU.
But here's my opinion:
I understand oversights and unintentional errors. The NCAA rule book is complicated and things can appear very gray. If those type of things are what this turns out to be, there may be penalties but I can still appreciate the innocent nature of such violations.
But if these turn out to be as bad as some of the rumors make them out to be, then I think all BYU fans will join me in saying:
Is anyone really stupid enough to break rules in such a blatant way and think they can get away with it?
This could be a lot of smoke with no fire or it could seriously damage BYU for a long time. Only the truth when it comes out will really indicate which it will be.
Check back for more details as they become available.