NCAA Teams under Investigation

by Lauren Redfern

During the last few weeks the NCAA has been in the headlines for negative events. Men’s Basketball is at the center of the FBI Investigation. Multiple schools have been found for misconduct related to recruiting violations. The reports surfaced after the University of Louisville lost the appeal to the NCAA and was officially stripped of their 2013 National Championship for breaking several rules. Coach Rick Pitino and his staff were the first to be investigated by the FBI and NCAA. The violations are related to schools offering illegal money under the table to guarantee recruits attend their school. However, Louisville is not the only school under investigation, but rather they are just the start of a major undercover story. One coach headlined for being heard on a wire tapped by the FBI was former University of Dayton Coach Archie Miller’s brother Sean Miller of University of Arizona.

Names to Know:

Andy Miller: A prominent former NBA agent and the founder of ASM Sports (a sports agency company). He represents pro-athletes like  Kevin Garnett, Kristaps Porzingis, and Kyle Lowry. However, he turned over his certification in December of 2017 after the allegations regarding his agency’s involvement in the college basketball scandal. Miller and Christian Dawkins worked closely together offering five-figure payments to high school and college players, which is an NCAA violation.

Christian Dawkins: The sports agent, former youth tournament director and AAU figure who is alleged to have been instrumental in conspiring with others implicated in the scandal to arrange payments to each of the four assistant coaches arrested in September. Before opening his own agency, Dawkins worked for Miller’s ASM Sports, which is where the connection was established.

Dennis Smith, Jr.: The rookie point guard for the Dallas Mavericks received a five-figure payment in high school, according to documents, before he signed to NC State. Smith was named the ACC freshman of the year in 2016-17 and was selected last year with the ninth pick of the NBA draft.

Isaiah Whitehead: A second-year point guard for the Brooklyn Nets, he reportedly received a five-figure payment while at Seton Hall. Whitehead is the most high-profile recruit to have signed with coach Kevin Willard at the school and led the Pirates to a Big East tournament title in 2016.

Edrice “Bam” Adebayo: A rookie center with the Miami Heat, Adebayo received a five-figure payment before his one season at Kentucky, according to discovered documents. He was drafted with the 14th pick last year.

Markelle Fultz: The top pick in the NBA draft last year of the Philadelphia 76ers, he was given $10,000 before his one season at Washington.

Kyle Kuzma: The former Utah star reportedly received nearly $10,000 while in school. A first-round pick who currently plays for the Los Angeles Lakers, Kuzma was a first-team All-PAC-12 pick last year as a junior.

P.J. Dozier: A former McDonald’s All American, Dozier was paid more than $6,000 while in school at South Carolina. He helped lead the Gamecocks to the Final Four last year as a sophomore.

Josh Jackson: A freshman star at Kansas last year on the Jayhawks’ Big 12 title team, he was drafted fourth overall by the Phoenix Suns. Jackson’s mother is reported to have received a payment over $3,000.

Names related to charges announced in September 2017:

Chuck Person: The Auburn assistant employed by coach Bruce Pearl since 2014. He played at Auburn from 1982 to 1986. He was fired after the November indictment.

Lamont Evans: Fired on Sept. 28 by Oklahoma State after six months on the job. Evans previously worked at South Carolina and was alleged, while at both schools, to have accepted payments.

Emanuel Richardson: The Arizona assistant employed by coach Sean Miller at the school since 2009 and previously at Xavier. Richardson was accused of accepting payments to steer players. He was fired on Jan. 11.

Tony Bland: The USC associate head coach since 2013. Bland was accused of accepting payments to steer players and was fired in January by USC. He was the last to lose his job of four assistants named in the original report .

Jim Gatto: The senior Adidas marketing executive at the center of the scheme, according to federal officials, to direct payments to prep players and their families in exchange for their commitments to play at Adidas-sponsored college programs. He was widely known in college basketball as a key dealmaker in the apparel and shoe industry.

Merl Code: The Adidas consultant, former Nike employee, and Clemson basketball player charged with federal wire fraud for his work with Jim Gatto to funnel payments to prep players and their families.

Brian Bowen: The No. 14-rated prospect in the recruiting class of 2017, he signed with Louisville and ultimately played a key role in the toppling of coach Rick Pitino. Bowen was identified in the initial FBI findings as a prospect who received payment. Reports show that Christian Dawkins paid for plane tickets for Bowen and that his family received at least $7,000 in benefits. Bowen transferred South Carolina in January and has not been cleared by the NCAA to play.

Jonathan Brad Augustine: Former AAU director and youth coach implicated in September as a co-conspirator in the scandal.

Munish Sood: The financial adviser named in September by federal officials, he was accused of arranging at least $22,000 in payments to Lamont Evans, the Oklahoma State Assistant Coach. Sood formed a sports management firm in 2017 with Dawkins and also directed payments to Tony Bland (USC assistant coach) and Emanuel Richardson (Arizona assistant coach) in exchange for influence.However, he was not one of the eight men indicted on charges last November.

Rashan Michel: The former NCAA referee arrested in September who owned an Atlanta-based clothing company and was alleged to have arranged $91,500 in payments to Chuck Person (Auburn assistant) for the coach’s influence.

 The teams connections to the scandal vary. The teams listed are under investigation, but have not been charged for their supposed actions at this time.  The categories fit as followed:

Impermissible Benefits and Preferential Treatment for the player and his family:

  • University of Alabama
  • Duke University
  • University of Kentucky
  • Louisiana State University
  • University of Maryland
  • Michigan State University
  • North Carolina State
  • University of North Carolina
  • Seton Hall University
  • University of Texas
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Washington

Schools named in former ASM Sports agent Christian Dawkins’ expense reports:

  • Clemson University
  • Kansas University
  • Michigan State University
  • University South Carolina
  • University of Louisville (already charged)
  • University of Texas
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Utah
  • Wichita State University
  • Xavier University

Schools that had players/families listed as meeting with Dawkins:

  • University of Alabama
  • Creighton University
  • Duke University
  • Iowa State University
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of North Carolina
  • University of Notre Dame
  • University of Texas
  • Vanderbilt University
  • University of Virginia

Schools with active players implicated:

  • Collin Sexton- University of Alabama
  • Wendell Carter- Duke University
  • Kevin Knox- University of Kentucky
  • Miles Bridges- Michigan State University
  • Brian Bowen- University of South Carolina
  • Eric Davis Jr.- University of Texas
  • Bennie Boatwright- University of Southern California

How Arizona has fit into the FBI Investigation:

Sources told ESPN that FBI wiretaps intercepted telephone conversations between Arizona coach Sean Miller and Christian Dawkins, a key figure in the FBI’s investigation into college basketball corruption, in which Miller discussed paying $100,000 to ensure star freshman Deandre Ayton signed with the Wildcats.  A lawyer representing the family of Ayton called allegations involving the Arizona star freshman false and urged the FBI, the NCAA and the university to come out publicly and clear Ayton’s name.

Summary of Events:

Sept. 26: The FBI and United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced the arrests of 10 men, including assistant coaches Person, Evans, Bland and Richardson, in connection with fraud and corruption schemes under investigation since 2015. The federal officials alleged that the coaches took cash bribes from business managers and financial advisers in exchange for the coaches to direct selected players and their families to retain the services of the advisers who provided the bribes once the players entered the NBA.

Oct. 16: Coach Pitino was fired by Louisville. Louisville was accused by the feds for directing money from Adidas to two high school prospects, including Brian Bowen (South Carolina).

Oct. 18: Tom Jurich was fired as athletic director at Louisville.

Nov. 7: Eight of the 10 men arrested in September were indicted by a federal grand jury in New York.

Feb. 15: A U.S. district court judge denied a motion to dismiss charges against Gatto, Code, and Dawkins.

Feb. 23: ESPN Sports publishes documents from the FBI’s investigation into college basketball corruption that show possible NCAA rules violations by more than 20 Division I teams.

 

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