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August 17, 2011
Charles in the clear
Georgia officials said Wednesday it found no evidence of wrong doing involving Orson Charles and a Miami booster alleged to have paid benefits to Hurricane players and recruits.
"The University of Georgia is aware of the article mentioning Orson Charles and has been in communication with the NCAA. There are no issues with UGA or eligibility issues with Orson Charles. UGA will have no further comment regarding this matter," the school said in a statement emailed to reporters.
Charles had been linked to former Miami booster Nevin Shapiro who told YAHOO! Sports he provided benefits to a large number of Hurricane players and recruits.
Earlier Wednesday, McGarity told UGASports.com in a text that the school was "checking into it."
Georgia was subsequently able to establish that Charles did nothing wrong.
According to the story by Charles Robinson of YAHOO! Sports, Charles was among a number of high-profile recruits who were brought either to Shapiro's home or luxury suite so the booster could make recruiting pitches to them.
In the report, former Hurricane tight ends coach and special teams coordinator Joe Pannunzio (currently director of football operations at Alabama) allegedly ushered Charles and prompted future Florida signee Matt Patchan to the meeting with Shapiro, currently incarcerated for his role in a $930 million Ponzi scheme.
The article did not accuse Charles of any wrong doing.