BYU confirmed an investigation into allegations of improper benefits to football players. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Brigham Young University is investigating whether current or former football players received illegal benefits from a former football program staff member. The investigation, first reported by 1280 The Zone, was confirmed by the university via the Salt Lake Tribune.
BYU associate athletic director of communications Duff Tittle responded to the paper Wednesday afternoon: "BYU is aware of the allegations and is conducting a thorough review of the matter."
The Salt Lake Tribune report says the investigation has centered on former director of football operations Duane Busby, who resigned in March after 18 years in the BYU athletics department. Tribune sources revealed additional details about the investigation:
They said it has been alleged that Busby provided heavily discounted or rent-free housing, free meals and other gifts to selected players he favored, mostly offensive players and skill players.
BYU has either self-reported the results of its investigation to the NCAA or is in the process of doing so, according to a source with close ties to the athletic department. The school has or will suggest self-imposed punishment to the NCAA, suggestions that could possibly result in players being suspended for one or more games in the upcoming season.
Sam Leaf, the manager of former BYU receiver Cody Hoffman, told 1280 The Zone that BYU had contacted his client and asked him to answer questions about possible improper benefits being given to BYU players. Leaf said Hoffman refused, and was confident that his client had not received any illegal benefits. Leaf would not comment for the report on whether Hoffman had knowledge of other BYU players receiving illegal benefits.
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Several former BYU players told The Tribune they had not received any improper benefits from Busby or other sources while at the school. A few told the paper they had "heard" about other BYU players receiving special treatment in the form of cheaper rent.
NCAA spokeswoman Emily James declined to provide comment to The Tribune on the BYU investigation.