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Rookie Pouncey still denying wrongdoing

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Sunday, Aug. 1, 2010

Steelers first-round draft choice Maurkice Pouncey hasn't yet mastered the art of talking to the media, but the rookie sure didn't mince his words when talking about the recent accusations brought against him when he was at the University of Florida.

In his first public comments since being accused of accepting $100,000 from a representative of a sports agent while he was still at Florida, Pouncey categorically denied any wrongdoing.

"It's not true," Pouncey said. "I don't know who would ever write a letter like that to try to distort somebody's name. It's not fair. It's not true, everybody knows."

Pouncey, who signed a 5-year deal worth $17.96 million, denied the allegations through a lawyer's statement last week.

Florida and the NCAA are still investigating whether Pouncey accepted the money in the weeks between the SEC title game and the Sugar Bowl last season.

Florida decided to investigate when the university received an anonymous letter accusing Pouncey of accepting the money from an agent's worker.

Pouncey, who was drafted with the 18th overall pick in April, said that he spoke to the university Friday and the investigation is close to being concluded.

"They went through a whole investigation and couldn't find anything," Pouncey said. "It's almost (over). They couldn't find anything. I am just happy that everybody said it wasn't true. I am just happy everybody could just see it."

Pouncey said he was stunned when he first heard the news a few weeks back.

"I thought my brother (Mike, also a Florida lineman) was playing with me he first called me," Pouncey said. "I was actually (in Pittsburgh) when he first told me and I was like, 'You have to be kidding me.' I went to the school and kind of said, 'You all better be behind me if it's not true.'"

Pouncey's agent, Joel Segal, has been involved before in illegal recruiting activities.

Segal pleaded no contest in 1995 to a charge of illegally recruiting former Florida State cornerback Corey Sawyer.

"I did the player panel and everything," Pouncey said. "When I picked my agent I went through the school. They do it the right way. There is no fault there."

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