ATLANTA - A man who says he used to be close friends with Georgia Tech head basketball coach Josh Pastner is accusing him of knowingly approving the NCAA violations the school self-reported last week.
On Thursday, Georgia Tech announced that it self-reported the violations to the NCAA and suspended two players indefinitely. The players were identified as Josh Okogie and Tadric Jackson.
At the time it self-reported the violations, Georgia Tech did not name the person associated with the violations. It did, however, acknowledge that the same person was responsible for all violations, but that person was not connected to the university.
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Fast-forward to Tuesday and everything is starting to come together.
Ron Bell, who is from Arizona, told Channel 2 Investigative Reporter Nicole Carr that he is the man who supplied Okogie and Jackson with plane tickets, groceries and other improper benefits.
Bell told Carr that Pastner had concerns that Okogie and Jackson might transfer or leave for the NBA. Because of this, Bell said, Pastner offered “vague instructions” to make sure they stayed happy while attending and playing for Georgia Tech.
"This isn't about money. This is about the truth. And the truth is Georgia Tech false-reported," Bell said on Tuesday.
According to Bell, the reigning ACC Coach of the Year “100 percent” knew what was going on.
"Of course (Josh Pastner) asked me to do it," Bell said.
Bell sent Channel 2 Action News receipts and videos from the players' trip to his Arizona home.
"J.O. wanted shoes and I gave him shoes, whatever he wanted. And I didn't have a problem with it," Bell said.
Bell said Pastner charged him with major recruiting efforts for Georgia Tech.
"How am I not connected? You can't tell the NCAA that it was some random guy that has nothing to do with anything. I don't think I am a random guy," Bell said.
Pastner sent Channel 2 Action News the following statement on Tuesday: "As I have throughout my career, I remain committed to following NCAA rules. Any allegations that NCAA rules weren't followed will be investigated thoroughly by our compliance department while I focus on coaching my team."
The Georgia Tech Athletic Association sent the following statement: "Georgia Tech highly prioritizes NCAA compliance and will investigate any allegations regarding NCAA rules violations thoroughly."
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