E.J. Montgomery, a five-star power forward from Wheeler High School in Marietta, Ga., has decommitted from Auburn, Scout.com reported on Wednesday morning. “We are going to open E.J.’s recruitment back up,” Montgomery’s father told Scout.
The announcement came one day after Auburn assistant Chuck Person became one of four assistant coaches and 10 individuals arrested as part of an FBI investigation into corruption in college basketball. Person, a former NBA Rookie of the Year, is alleged to have accepted bribes in connection with a scheme to direct players toward the Atlanta-based service of a clothing executive, Rashan Michel. Auburn announced on Tuesday that Person has been suspended without pay.
Montgomery originally committed in September 2016, relatively early in the process for the 2018 recruit. He was Auburn’s only committed player.
Rated the No. 27 player in the class of 2018, according to the Recruiting Services Consensus Index, a composite that incorporates data from multiple services, Montgomery issued a verbal commitment to Auburn on Sept. 22. His list of scholarship offers also includes Baylor, Florida State, Miami, NC State and UCLA, according to Montgomery’s 247Sports profile.
Montgomery played this year for the Atlanta Celtics grassroots program. An executive at the program’s sponsor, head of global sports marketing James Gatto, was placed on administrative leave after being arrested as part of the FBI’s investigation.
In one section of the complaint against Person, Person is quoted making apparent references to Austin Wiley, an elite recruit in the class of 2016 who played in 22 games for the Tigers last season after joining the program in December. Wiley projects as a double-digit scorer and Auburn’s top frontcourt player this season.
AL.com reported this week that, in the wake of Person’s arrest in conjunction with the inquiry, Auburn season ticket-holders can obtain full refunds. Person—who was charged with Bribery conspiracy, Solicitation of bribes, Honest services fraud conspiracy, Honest services fraud, Wire fraud conspiracy and Travel Act conspiracy—must appear in federal court next month.