Ex-UNT basketball players accused of promoting prostitution


The University of North Texas says three former members of the basketball team may have been involved in prostitution and drugs.

Only one of them has been arrested so far. Warrants have been issued for the other suspects. The university is now calling for a full review of its basketball program.

Students are discouraged to hear the allegations that there could have been prostitution happening on campus that they are unaware of.

The university is not allowing any of the students accused to step on campus, and officials want to make sure this is not systemic.

University officials say they began an investigation on March 30 after a tip about an alleged sexual assault referencing possible prostitution. A statement from the university says the university president was briefed, and about a month later on April 26th, action was taken to make the arrests.

The investigation led to the arrest warrants of two former men’s basketball players and another student who served as the student manager for the team on April 28. An arrest warrant was also issued for a fourth person unassociated with the university.

A UNT spokesperson says only one of the students, Rickey Brice, has been arrested. He’s charged with possessing marijuana under two ounces. Police are working to arrest the other three people.

"I was like, 'Oh my god. What's going on at my school?'” said student James Owens. “That's crazy. I had no idea anything like that was going on here."

“I had no idea that this was going on,” said student Abigail Gonsoulin. “I think they should make it as public as possible. I think that would also help in discouraging future prostitution."

University officials are reassuring students that this appears to be an isolated incident, and none of the students were part of the basketball team at the time of the alleged incident.

University President Neal Smatresk says they have hired a national law firm to conduct an independent review of the basketball program to "ensure that there are no cultural or climate issues."

"They need to know that's not okay,” said student David O’Neill. “They need to show that they care and they're not going to give anyone a free pass because of what they can do athletically."

"The alleged actions of these students are contrary to the values of our university and our Student Code of Conduct. The university is cooperating fully with investigators and working diligently to obtain all facts pertaining to this issue,” Smatresk said in a statement. “It's the responsibility of this university to promote a respectful and supportive environment for our community, and we will take all appropriate actions to ensure the safety of our community members."

The investigation is ongoing.

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