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Auburn Suspends Austin Wiley, Danjel Purifoy After FBI Complaint

Auburn has suspended Austin Wiley and Danjel Purifoy, who are thought to be implicated in the FBI's complaint against Chuck Person. 

Auburn has suspended Austin Wiley and Danjel Purifoy, two players believed to be implicated in the F.B.I.'s complaint against former assistant coach Chuck Person.

The university announced the decision in a release from the athletic department on Thursday.

"To avoid any potential eligibility issues, Auburn Athletics has decided to hold men's basketball players Austin Wiley and Danjel Purifoy out indefinitely," the statement read. "Because this is related to an ongoing investigation, we cannot comment further at this time."

Auburn opens the season with an exhibition game against Division II Barry on Thursday night. The Tigers' first regular-season game is on Nov. 10 against Norfolk State.

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Auburn was one of seven schools implicated in the F.B.I.'s complaints after the Bureau conducted a multi-year investigation that uncovered corruption, bribery and wire fraud in college basketball recruiting. Person, who faces six federal counts, was one of four Division I assistant coaches charged, along with Tony Bland (USC), Emmanuel Richardson (Arizona) and Lamont Evans (Oklahoma State). 

According to the complaint, filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, Person received $91,500 in bribes from a cooperating FBI witness. In exchange for the money, Person promised to steer Auburn's players told the cooperating witness' financial consultancy. Person allegedly distributed $11,000 of that money to the mother of "Player-1" and $7,500 to "Player-2." 

Person, 53, was suspended without pay by Auburn and released from custody after posting $25,000 bail. He could face a maximum sentence of 80 years if he is convicted on all counts. He had been an assistant to Bruce Pearl since 2014.

Wiley and Purifoy have not publicly been identified as Player-1 or Player-2, but Auburn president Steven Leath told ESPN that the university had identified the two student-athletes who are accused of taking bribes within 24 hours of the complaints going public. 

Wiley, a former five-star recruit, averaged 8.8 points and 4.7 rebounds last season as a freshman. He was on the court for Auburn's first preseason practice but has not been on the floor since as he has dealt with a left leg injury. 

Purifoy, who was also a freshman last season, averaged 11.5 points and 4.7 rebounds.