Miami (Fla.) recruits’ mother, coaches deny involvement with WKU’s Morton

Cole Claybourn

The mother of the Miami (Fla.) basketball recruit whose commitment WKU assistant coach Jake Morton allegedly paid $10,000 for has denied the allegations.

Irene Bell, the mother of DeQuan Jones, told the Miami Herald that the “whole thing is such a lie.”

“It is so, so frustrating because our family has been smeared and we are innocent,” she told the Miami Herald. “There is no way I would ever exploit my only child. Never, never, never was any money offered. If that had happened, I’d have been turned off by a coach willing to bend rules.”

Morton, who was an assistant coach at Miami from 2007-2011 and was hired by WKU in June, was accused in a Yahoo! report earlier this month of helping Miami athletics booster Nevin Shapiro set up a transaction for $10,000 to help secure Jones’ commitment.

Morton said through a statement in August from WKU Athletics Director Ross Bjork that he denies any involvement in the situation. 

“We are aware of the allegation related to Jake Morton, and he denies any wrong doing,” Bjork said in the statement. “Jake came to us highly recommended, Ken McDonald and I both did our homework during the interview process, and Jake passed our background checks before we hired him.”

Jones’ high school coach, Doug Lipscomb, and AAU coach, Desmond Eastmond, also denied Shapiro’s allegations.

Jones verbally committed to Miami on Sept. 4, 2007 and signed his official letter of intent with the school on Nov. 23, 2007, according the Miami Herald. He moved to the Miami campus in June 2008 and took summer classes. The alleged request for $10,000 was “in early summer of 2008,” according to the Yahoo! Sports investigation that was published two weeks ago, the Miami Herald added.

The NCAA contacted WKU a day after the Yahoo! report was published and said they plan to speak to Morton about the allegations.

Bjork told the Herald last Friday that the NCAA has yet to contact WKU about meeting with Morton.

President Gary Ransdell said regardless of what the NCAA decides, the WKU basketball program should face no ramifications.