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Broncos' Thomas denies receiving improper benefits in college

Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas denied NCAA claims that he received improper benefits during his time at Georgia Tech, *The Denver Post* reported Thursday.

The NCAA said Georgia Tech should have declared Thomas ineligible in 2009 after he accepted $312 worth of clothing from former Yellow Jackets quarterback Calvin Booker, who was working for a sports agent at the time. But the investigation took a harder turn against the school when athletic director Dan Radakovich broke NCAA rules by alerting coach Paul Johnson that Thomas and safety Morgan Burnett soon would be interviewed.

It seemed obvious to the NCAA that Thomas and Burnett were told to prepare answers to questions they would be asked during the interviews. In its 26-page report, the NCAA wrote that it decided not to make a finding of its interview with Burnett after he "consistently denied" accepting free clothing. The NCAA committee on infractions wrote, however, that a violation occurred in regard to Thomas.

"The staff members provided, before the NCAA could conduct their interview, information about what would be discussed in the interview," NCAA committee on infractions chairman Dennis Thomas said. "These actions impeded the enforcement staff investigations and hindered the committee in getting to the truth in this case. Otherwise, this case, as it pertains to the football program, would have been limited to impermissible benefits and preferential treatment violations."

Thomas told The Post via text message that the report linking him to illicit behavior is untrue. The NCAA placed Georgia Tech on four years of probation and fined the school $100,000 for violations in its football and basketball programs.

Thomas was selected by the Broncos in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He's currently in Georgia rehabilitating from a torn Achilles tendon.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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