- The Washington Times - Friday, March 13, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) - The NBA players’ association is planning to investigate whether an agency run by its former executive director violated union rules by offering money to athletes.

Spokesman Dan Wasserman said Friday the union will launch an investigation into Ceruzzi Sports and Entertainment following comments made by its chief executive officer, Charles Grantham, in a Yahoo! Sports report.

Yahoo! reported Ceruzzi donated about $300,000 to the Southern California All-Stars, an AAU program, between September 2007 and April 2008. Grantham said Ceruzzi’s intent “was to get access to what you would consider potential NBA players,” with the report saying the agency hoped to sign former UCLA star Kevin Love, now with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The report also said Ceruzzi helped arrange a $50,000 loan for the uncle of Donte Greene, then playing at Syracuse University and now with the Sacramento Kings.

That could be a violation of the standard of conduct for player agents, which states: “Agents are prohibited from providing or offering money or any other thing of value to a member of a player’s family or any other person for the purpose of inducing or encouraging the player to utilize his services, or for the purpose of inducing or encouraging that person to recommend that a player (including a rookie) or college athlete utilize the services of the agent.”

Grantham was the executive director of the players’ association in 1991 when the policies governing agent conduct were instituted.

A message was left seeking comment at Grantham’s office on Friday night.

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