Investigation details widespread NCAA basketball violations involving over 25 athletes
During a federal investigation into the world of college basketball, officials have discovered numerous documents and bank records that detail expenditures to potential college prospects and their families. These documents include expense reports and balance sheets that show in detail a long list of cash advances for entertainment, travel purposes, and other expenses for these high school players.
The investigation, conducted by the FBI, has been going on for years, with authorities monitoring several targets, including former NBA agent Andy Miller, his former associate Christian Dawkins, and his agency, ASM Sports. During the probe, FBI agents intercepted over 4,000 calls spanning over a years time. The findings from the investigation shed a light on the shady characteristics of the college basketball economy.
In a statement given by NCAA President Mark Emmert, he said “if true, point to systematic failures that must be fixed and fixed now if we want college sports in America.”
Emmert went on to read, “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 documents implicate over 20 Division I basketball teams, as well as more than 25 players. Some players who have been mentioned in the documents include current USC player Bennie Boatwright, and his father Bennie Boatwright Sr., who received $2,000. His teammate, Chimezie Metu, also received $2,000, according to the documents.
USC released a statement to Yahoo Sports, who originally shed light on the documents, saying “we just became aware of this new information through media sources, and we take these allegations very seriously. USC Athletics places the highest priority on athletic compliance, and as we have demonstrated, we do not tolerate violations of our policies or NCAA rules. We will fully cooperate with the NCAA and federal authorities as well as conduct our own investigation into these allegations.”
In an ASM Sports balance sheet dating December 2015, it shows several payments under “Loan to Players”, all ranging from several thousand to tens of thousands of dollars. Dennis Smith, who currently plays for the Dallas Mavericks, but played a season at North Carolina State, received several payments to the tune of $43,500 and $73,500. It also shows Isaiah Whitehead, guard for the Brooklyn Nets, received $26,136 while he was a freshman at Seton Hall.
Several programs have come out to say they had no knowledge of their players receiving money from ASM Sports. Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich said he, nor the athletics department, had any knowledge that former Clemson players Jaron Blossomgame received money. Kentucky coach John Calipari also said he had no knowledge that his staff used ASM Sports to provide benefits to his players. Despite this, many of the schools implicated will undergo a rigorous internal review, and they are expected to cooperate fully with authorities.