Three Players Declared Ineligible for Bowl Games

From Associated Press

Three football players were declared ineligible for postseason bowl games Tuesday after an agent reported that they were among nine athletes who had signed contracts with him in violation of National Collegiate Athletic Assn. eligibility rules.

Texas A&M; lineman Tony Bartley and running back Melvin Collins will be held out of the Cotton Bowl, and Auburn cornerback Kevin Porter has been declared out of the Sugar Bowl.

The actions came after agent Jim Abernethy gave the Atlanta Journal-Constitution copies of his contracts with players.

In a copyright story Tuesday, the newspaper said Abernethy signed nine college athletes.


In addition to Porter, Bartley and Collins, the agent also said he had contracts with Memphis State basketball players Marvin Alexander and Sylvester Gray, Georgia Tech football player Riccardo Ingram and Texas Christian football players Tony Jeffery, John Booty and Wayne Waddy.

The only contract copy Abernethy didn’t give the newspaper was one involving Collins. He said Collins’ contract was in a safe-deposit box, but he promised to bring it to the paper this week.

Abernethy said he realized his revelations would hurt some players, but added: “These guys all knew what they were doing. Every one of them. I mean, they’d sit there and bid and dicker with me.”

All the football players named by Abernethy are seniors except Collins, who is a junior. The basketball players are underclassmen.


Abernethy said that either he or his former associate, Gary Wilson, had dealings with three other players scheduled to participate in bowl games--Clemson’s Michael Dean Perry, South Carolina’s Sterling Sharpe and Auburn’s Tracy Rocker.

“I don’t have contracts on those guys,” Abernethy said. “But based on (NCAA) rules, I know Perry shouldn’t have been eligible this season.”

Perry is set to play in the Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1, and Sharpe is headed for the Gator Bowl on Dec. 31.