College basketball's FBI probe gets specific with players, teams named in report
Michigan State's Miles Bridges, Duke's Wendell Carter among dozens of players named
A revealing report from Yahoo Sports on Friday morning has shed more light on the wide-ranging reality of how college basketball's underground market operates for plenty of highly-ranked prospects.
Yahoo Sports obtained expense-report documents that identify current and former NCAA players and/or their familial representatives -- by the dozens. The documents reportedly originated from Christian Dawkins, who was one of 10 men arrested by the FBI in late September when the Bureau announced its two-year-long sting into college basketball's recruiting underworld. The FBI obtained the documents when it seized the office of former agent Andy Miller and confiscated untold amounts of data and hard documents.
Miller worked for ASM Sports and was in effect Dawkins' boss. Miller has been a polarizing figure in college athletics for years.
The expense reports in question were a ledger for Dawkins' doings in facilitating relationships with prospects and their families. But it's important to note they are not actual receipts. Details of the documents include payment to players and their families for plane tickets and entertainment purposes, per Yahoo Sports's report, which cites examination of "hundreds of pages of documents."
Based on Friday's report, and documents obtained therein, schools that could potentially face NCAA repercussions include: Alabama, Clemson, Creighton, Duke, Iowa State, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Maryland, Michigan State, NC State, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Seton Hall, USC, Utah, Villanova, Virginia, Washington, Wichita State Texas and Xavier.
All of these schools will almost assuredly fall under eventual NCAA review. It is unclear whether or not any of the schools listed will be immediately impacted, as the NCAA Tournament starts in less than three weeks. It is also important to keep in mind that the dollar amounts connected to each player vary, and some are potentially much more damaging than others.
Ultimately, the NCAA could review each player's case and determine the severity of each potential impermissible benefit.
Here are the largest dollar amounts listed for former NCAA athletes or their families, according to Dawkins' records.
- Dennis Smith, NC State: $73,500
- Jarrell Martin, LSU: $52,472.72
- Isaiah Whitehead, Seton Hall: $37,657
- Bam Adebayo, Kentucky: 36,500
- Tim Quarterman, LSU: $16,000
- Diamond Stone, Maryland: $14,303
- Markelle Fultz, Washington: $10,000
- Kyle Kuzma, Utah: $9,500
- Edmond Sumner, Xavier: $7,000
- P.J. Dozier, S. Carolina: $6,115
- Apples Jones (mother of KU star Josh Jackson): $2,700
- Jaron Blossomgame, Clemson: $1,100
- Fred VanVleet, Wichita State: $1,000
Xavier coach Chris Mack released a statement to Yahoo Sports.
"I have no relationship with Andy Miller or any of his associates. He plays no role in the recruitment of potential student athletes on Xavier's behalf. Beyond that, our staff has never created a path for him to foster a relationship with any of our student-athletes while enrolled at Xavier. Any suggestion that I or anyone on my staff utilized Andy Miller to provide even the slightest of financial benefits to a Xavier student-athlete is grossly misinformed. We are prepared to cooperate with any and all investigations at any level."
Here are the eight current players or those players' families who are listed in Dawkins' docs:
- Brian Bowen, South Carolina (formerly of Louisville): $7,000
- Bennie Boatwright, USC: $2,000
- Chimezie Metu, USC: $2,000
- Eric Davis, Texas: 1,500
- Miles Bridges' mother: $400
- Wendell Carter's (Duke) mother: amount not specified
- Collin Sexton, Alabama: amount not specified
- Kevin Knox, Kentucky: amount not specified
Former North Carolina player Tony Bradley, who was a freshman on the 2016-17 national championship team, is also listed. But from what has been reported, Bradley -- like Wendell Carter, Collin Sexton and Kevin Knox -- is on the ledger for supposedly having met and/or shared a meal with Dawkins. That is a big difference from being loaned tens of thousands of dollars, as appears to be the case with former lottery picks Dennis Smith Jr. and Bam Adebayo.
Miles Bridges' mother receiving payments, it throws into question -- just as it does with other schools -- what that program will immediately do in the wake of this story. Will Michigan State choose to sit its star player, Bridges, or will it continue to play him and wait for any action to come down from the NCAA? Every single team listed in the report plays this weekend.
NCAA president Mark Emmert released a statement Friday morning.
"These allegations, if true, point to systematic failures that must be fixed and fixed now if we want college sports in America. Simply put, people who engage in this kind of behavior have no place in college sports. They are an affront to all those who play by the rules. Following the Southern District of New York's indictments last year, the NCAA Board of Governors and I formed the independent Commission on College Basketball, chaired by Condoleezza Rice, to provide recommendations on how to clean up the sport. With these latest allegations, it's clear this work is more important now than ever. The Board and I are completely committed to making transformational changes to the game and ensuring all involved in college basketball do so with integrity. We also will continue to cooperate with the efforts of federal prosecutors to identify and punish the unscrupulous parties seeking to exploit the system through criminal acts."
Dawkins' documents also list dinners with the likes of Michigan State coach Tom Izzo and "Villanova coaches."
Andy Miller ceased being a certified NBA agent in December. While the 24-year-old Dawkins was charged in the case, Miller has not been. Yahoo Sports reports: "It's widely believed he's cooperating with the government."
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