Auburn Basketball Player Charged with Point Shaving

Former Auburn guard Varez Ward has been indicted on bribery and conspiracy to defraud for shaving points in 2012. In an indictment released last week, Ward is alleged to have conspired with others to bribe or solicit one or more individuals to influence a sporting contest, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371.

Auburn has not commented on this case. The NCAA, however, released this statement:

“We are very concerned by the point-shaving allegations involving Auburn University men’s basketball program and have been in contact with the school and the FBI since the issue arose in February. The NCAA takes any allegation of point shaving very seriously because sports wagering threatens two of our core principles — the well-being of student-athletes and the very integrity of intercollegiate sport. As allegations of point shaving, if proven, are also potential federal crimes, the NCAA will defer action until any process with the FBI has concluded.”

Ward, a transfer from Texas, played in 27 games for Auburn in 2012. He was suspended prior to a February 25 game against Arkansas after rumors began circulating about an FBI investigation involving game fixing.

It is unclear what games were allegedly fixed. Auburn had covered 10 of its previous twelve games, going back to a January 11th game against Kentucky.

One of the two losses against the spread was the January 28th game at Tennessee. Auburn, 8.5 point underdogs, lost 64-49 to the Volunteers. Ward hit 3 of 9 shots from the field in that game and went 6-8 from the free throw line.

The Tigers also failed to cover in a February 7th game against Alabama. Auburn lost 68-50 at home as five point underdogs. Ward turned the ball over a season high six times, and was 1-5 from the field.

Ward started sixteen games for Auburn in 2012. He lost his starting job on January 17th, coming off the bench until his suspension.