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Former Auburn hoops player pleads not guilty

Auburn's Varez Ward goes to the basket during

Auburn's Varez Ward goes to the basket during the second half of an NCAA basketball game. (Feb. 21, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Former Auburn basketball player Varez Ward pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in federal court on charges accusing him of conspiring to fix a game.

During a brief hearing Thursday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Wallace Capel Jr. set a July 22 trial date for Ward.

Ward was arrested Monday on charges of bribery related to a sports contest and conspiracy for allegedly trying to fix the point spread in Auburn's game against Arkansas on Jan. 25, 2012. Ward came off the bench but crumpled to the floor after playing only 19 seconds with an apparent leg injury. Arkansas won 56-53.

Ward was suspended before a Feb. 25, 2012, game, also against Arkansas, and didn't play for the Tigers again.

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