Did a Clemson basketball assistant drag the football program into hoops corruption trial?

USATSI

For the second time this week, college football has been mentioned prominently in the federal corruption trial that's gripping the college basketball world.

A video wiretap from July 2017 of Clemson basketball assistant coach Steve Smith that was primarily focused on the recruitment of former Duke hoops star Zion Williamson took a turn and mentioned the Clemson football program. According to CBS Sports' Matt Norlander, Smith mentioned Clemson's recruiting methods to defendant Christian Dawkins and an undercover FBI agent.

"That's why football is so successful, is if you do it and use resources at Clemson, like you can really keep everything tight," Smith said in the video.

"It's a small college town," he later said. "You can come to a game one night, after the game, you see a dude out there in a nice looking suit, you like, 'wait a minute now.'"

Marty Blazer, a financial advisor out of Pittsburgh, testified: "I understood that to mean boosters would give certain things."

Blazer's comment was objected to by the defense, and the objection was sustained.

This comes just three days after Blazer, a cooperating witness, made a claim that he paid several college football players from 2000-14, including players at North Carolina, Alabama, Penn State, Notre Dame, Michigan Pitt and Northwestern.

He provided more details on two instances of these payments. He claimed that he paid the father of a Penn State player who was drafted 11th overall in the 2009 draft (Aaron Maybin). He also testified that he paid a former first round pick of the New York Giants in the 2009 draft out of North Carolina (Hakeem Nicks).

As for what this means for all of the programs mentioned so far during the trial, that is up in the air. But less than one week into the proceedings, it's clear that the college football world should prepare for more snippets of information like this to come out throughout the remainder of the process.

Clemson released a statement on the matter shortly after.

"We are aware of the developments in federal court today involving one of our men's basketball assistant coaches. We take this matter seriously and will immediately conduct a review."

College Football Writer

Barrett Sallee has been a member of the sports media in various aspects since 2001. He is currently a college football writer for CBS Sports, analyst for CBS Sports HQ and host for the SiriusXM college... Full Bio

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