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Sports

Report: Five SEC players received improper benefits

Five Southeastern Conference players received improper benefits during their college careers, including former Alabama offensive tackle D.J. Fluker, according to a Yahoo Sports report.

The Yahoo report Wednesday cited text messages and financial records of former Alabama defensive end Luther Davis and an unnamed NFL source who said Davis was a go-between for the players with NFL agents and financial advisers.

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The players named in the report were Fluker, who started on two national championship teams, Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray and defensive end Maurice Couch, Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, and wide receiver Chad Bumphis.

All three schools issued statements Wednesday saying they are investigating the allegations.

The report comes on the heels of Sports Illustrated articles outlining alleged widespread misconduct within the Oklahoma State football program, including academic fraud and illegal payments.

The transactions could violate NCAA rules prohibiting benefits from agents or representatives.

Southern California received heavy sanctions for improper benefits to Heisman Trophy-winning tailback Reggie Bush, including a two-year bowl ban.

Davis, who played on Alabama’s 2009 national championship team, declined to comment in the Yahoo report.

Couch is a senior for the Volunteers. Fluker, Bray, and Cox are playing in the NFL while Bumphis was recently released by the Miami Dolphins.

The report named three NFL agents and three financial advisers who Yahoo said engaged in transactions totaling at least $45,550 with Davis between September 2011 and December 2012.

Yahoo said records show Davis distributing at least $12,700 in cash, airfare and other expenses to the five players. The report included a 49-item invoice totaling $33,755 from February 2013 that Davis e-mailed to Fluker’s onetime financial adviser, Hodge Brahmbhatt.

‘‘I have full confidence in our leadership that we’re going to do whatever we need to do to handle the situation appropriately, and I know that we will,’’ Alabama coach Nick Saban said, adding that he didn’t know of any current players involved in allegations related to the report.

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