COLUMBIA, S.C. — A state investigation has concluded that reports of threats used against a local basketball star's family in an effort to get him to sign with the University of South Carolina are "totally without merit," officials said.
Fifth Circuit Solicitor James Anders asked the State Law Enforcement Division and the National Collegiate Athletic Assn. this week to review claims that Lower Richland High School basketball player Stanley Roberts was told that his brother would be "jailed for the rest of his life" if Roberts, who recently signed to play at Louisiana State, did not choose to play at South Carolina.
The Columbia Record reported Thursday that Isabella Davis, Roberts' mother, said a man she recognized as a University of South Carolina employee made the threat against her older son, John Wayne Roberts, who has been charged with murder and assault in the death of a Richland County man.
Spokesman Hugh Munn, representing the state, said there were "one or two" witnesses still to be questioned, but the law-enforcement agency is satisfied so far that there is no basis to the reported threats, which Anders now says he believes are "totally without merit."