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Memphis State Hires a Retired FBI Agent to 'Shield' Athletes

April 25, 1985|Associated Press

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis State University hired a retired FBI agent Wednesday to shield the school's athletes from gamblers and drug dealers, a spokesman for the college said.

"We want to put the underworld--gamblers and narcotics dealers--on notice to stay away from Memphis State," said Charles Holmes, director of community relations for the school.

He said the hiring of Ben F. Hale, a 23-year veteran of the FBI, is largely a result of a basketball scandal at Tulane University in New Orleans.

Holmes said university officials also are worried about rumors surrounding a federal grand jury investigation into allegations of illegal gambling in Memphis.

A financial backer of the Memphis State basketball program has testified before the grand jury, but the investigation has not been linked to Memphis State.

The investigation grew from FBI raids in March in which federal agents seized business records from suspected bookies in the Memphis area.

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