The FBI has college basketball under an intense microscope and has uncovered some damning information.
Friday morning, Yahoo! Sports dropped a report revealing the findings of the FBI’s probe into NCAA corruption and it names current and former players from high-profile Division I schools. In the report, the FBI’s focus is on the expenditures of former NBA agent Andy Miller, his agency, ASM sports and a former associate Christian Dawkins and their dealings and interactions with highly coveted college recruits. The FBI’s report shared expense reports and balance sheets that detail cash advances, travel expenses, entertainment expenses for high school and college recruits and their families.
The Yahoo! Sports report details about 25 players who received impermissible benefits (meals, cash loans) from ASM and these players come from top basketball programs such as North Carolina, Kentucky, Duke, Michigan State, Texas, and Kansas. Players listed in the report who have received money from ASM Duke’s Wendell Carter, Michigan State’s Miles Bridges, and Alabama’s Collin Sexton who are still currently playing but we won’t be shocked if that changes. Former NCAA players and now NBA players Markelle Fultz (76ers), Dennis Smith Jr. (Mavericks) Isaiah Whitehead (Nets) and Kyle Kuzma (Lakers) also have been linked to this probe.
According to the report Fultz received $10,000, Whitehead more than $37,000 and Smith Jr. more than $70,000 from ASM while they were still playing college basketball. Other notable names on the list include Kentucky’s Edrice “Bam” Adebayo, Maryland freshman at the time Diamond Stone and LSU junior at the time Tim Quarterman. Some other big names that also pop up in this report current Michigan St. coach Tom Izzo and “Villanova Coaches.”
As expected most of the players and schools have not commented on the report, the NCAA has issued a statement quickly following its release. Mark Emmert, President of the NCAA on the FBI’s findings:
“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.”
The investigation has already produced arrests and charges of four assistant coaches, retired NBA player Chuck Person (Auburn), Tony Bland (USC), Emanuel Richardson (Arizona), Lamont Evans (Oklahoma St). Sneaker executives Merl Code and James Gatto, former referee Rashan Michel also have been linked to this probe. Former Louisville coach and Hall of Famer, Rick Pitino got the boot because of this probe as well.
Twitter is already sounding off on the report and they are siding with the players who they feel will take the brunt of the blame instead of the schools and coaches who make millions of dollars from the student-athletes.
The fallout from this probe will be tremendous and we expect more firings and players being labeled ineligible in the coming days. We think its time they considered compensating these players in some way shape or form. Hit the flip to see more opinions on the matter.