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Texas withholding G Eric Davis Jr. from competition after payment allegations

The news from Friday morning came at an inopportune time for the program and resulted in immediate action.

NCAA Basketball: Texas at Texas Christian Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Hours after news broke that Texas Longhorns junior guard Eric Davis Jr. allegedly received $1,500 in payments from disgraced agency ASM Sports through associate Christian Dawkins, athletic director Chris Del Conte announced that the school is withholding Davis from competition.

“We have initiated an internal review of the recent report that included allegations against current and former University of Texas men’s basketball players,” Del Conte said in a statement. “We are in the process of gathering facts, but I did meet with Eric Davis Jr. this afternoon and let him know that we are withholding him from competition for precautionary reasons until further notice, pending the review of this situation.

“Winning with integrity is paramount to Texas Athletics, and we take these allegations very seriously. We expect all of our programs to comply with NCAA rules, and every year we have our student-athletes sign forms attesting they will follow these rules. Beyond that, we put a great deal of effort and resources into educating our coaches and student-athletes on NCAA rules and regulations.

“Our compliance department is constantly monitoring and communicating with our coaches and student-athletes, as we are in this case. We will continue to work through this recent development and provide further updates when we have the necessary information to do so.”

Head coach Shaka Smart also addressed the allegations on Friday.

“I became aware of the report late last evening,” Smart said in a statement. “I had no previous knowledge of the alleged extra benefits described in the report. I am working with our athletic department staff and am prepared to cooperate fully with the investigation into this matter. I am, and always have been, fully committed to ensuring that our program operates within NCAA rules. Our staff has always been very direct and thorough in educating our student-athletes about the specific parameters regarding agents.”

Documents provided to Yahoo Sports show expense report invoices from Dawkins that document two advances of $500 to Davis in March of 2016, when former point guard Isaiah Taylor and former center Prince Ibeh were documented as having meals with Dawkins.

A key reserve for Texas, Davis averaging 8.8 points per game and shooting nearly 35 percent from three-point range this season. With 40 made three-point baskets, Davis leads the team in that category in addition to ranking second among active players in shooting percentage from deep.

Since sophomore Andrew Jones is still in Houston receiving treatment for leukemia, the Longhorns will be without two major contributors at the guard position heading into the final three regular-season games.

Even a quick resolution to the university inquiry would likely result in a suspension for Davis through at least the remainder of this season if Texas determines that the junior guard did in fact accept payments from Dawkins.