It Hits The Fan
The NCAA and more than a handful of schools, basketball programs, coaches and players (prospective, current and past) should all be sweating. What happens when the FBI begins to follow the money? The proverbial “it hits the fan.”
A report out from Pat Forde and Pete Thamel at Yahoo Sports scrapes the surface of this $h!t show.
The investigation (begun over two years ago) by the FBI focused on Adidas. It began with their alleged payments used to steer recruits to teams that had apparel deals with the company. That extended into bribery charges against coaches who were steering players to specific agents and others linked to Adidas.
Documents were seized from the office of former agent Andy Miller of ASM Sports along with information from computers. Miller, who is no longer a certified NBA agent, may be cooperating with the Department of Justice in the the probe according to the report.
The finger is pointed (allegations, not proven in court) at about 20 schools, two dozen players and family members of players. They may have received benefits that are not allowed under NCAA guidelines.
One of the players listed is Dennis Smith, Jr. who played at NC State. Smith is alleged to have received a substantial loan while in school.
Another player that is listed as having met with Christian Dawkins, an associate of NBA agent Andy Miller, is Wendell Carter, a current player for Duke.
Dawkins was one of ten individuals arrested by the FBI last fall.
The Yahoo Sports report says that many more players or their family members are alleged to have had improper contact. They include individuals affiliated with (past or present) the following ACC schools: Clemson, Louisville, North Carolina, Notre Dame and Virginia.
It Hits The Fan
“These allegations, if true, point to systematic failures that must be fixed and fixed now if we want college sports in America”, said NCAA president Mark Emmert. “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.”
The NCAA formed the Independent Commission on College Basketball late last year following the release of indictments from the Department of Justice. The Commission is chaired by Condoleezza Rice, a former member of the Bush administration.
Here is a list of players (or players’ families) plus amounts listed in the Dawkins ledger.
- Dennis Smith $73,500
- Jaron Blossomgame $1,100
- Brian Bowen $7,000
- Wendell Carter (unspecified)
There are other players and family members from the NCAA listed. Many are alleged to have met or shared a meal with Dawkins. Matt Norlander of CBSSports provides a complete list.
For a better sense of how meals can and should be dealt with, Wahoos 24/7 explains the guidelines.
Realistically, each of the ACC schools named will likely undergo an NCAA review. The impact? That remains to be seen but, right or wrong it casts a pall upon their programs.
Long term, there are far too many questions left on the table to answer. Louisville is already dealing with some of the blow back and it isn’t pretty. Simply ask journalists who cover the team and their fans how they feel.
Short term, how will the NCAA and teams deal with this darkening landscape headed into Tournament time?
The days of sweeping the dirt under the carpet are over in college sports. Can a closer look at other sports be far behind? What about football?
I would venture to say it isn’t.