Yahoo! Sports dropped a bombshell report on the FBI’s investigation into college basketball on Friday morning, and a number of top players and programs are implicated. So, what does it mean for North Carolina basketball moving forward?
Nine current players from eight schools were named in the report, as having received payment from Christian Dawkins, an associate of former NBA agent Andy Miller. Dawkins’ expense sheet is at the center of Yahoo! Sports’ giant report.
Kansas is not one of the programs with a current player involved. Three former Jayhawks are named elsewhere in the documents, however.
The most prominent name connected to North Carolina basketball is Brice Johnson, a Tar Heels star from 2012-16.
Johnson was an All-American as a high school player, and became a four-year contributor for the Tar Heels. He was a consensus All-American as a senior in 2015-16.
Towards the end of his final season, he and his high school coach Dion Bethea ate with Dawkins at a Carrabbas, according to the documents obtained by Yahoo. The expense is logged as $100.09.
NCAA bylaws allow for meetings with agents, but players and family members cannot accept gifts or have meals paid for them. The organization's bylaws also set a threshold of $200 for impermissible benefits. Even if Dawkins paid for Johnson's meal, it would likely be treated as a minor violation by the NCAA.
The News & Observer spoke with Bethea about the meal. He says that he does not remember details from the meeting.
Reached Friday, Bethea, who coached Johnson at Edisto in Orangeburg, S.C., said he couldn’t remember the details of the dinner with Dawkins.
Bethea declined further comment.
Another recent Tar Heel, Tony Bradley, is also mentioned in the report. Bradley is listed as having met with or dined with Dawkins, but no monetary details are included. He was a member of the team last season, before leaving for the NBA after just one year. He was the 28th overall pick by the Los Angeles Lakers, but was dealt to the Utah Jazz.
Bradley's father tells Inside Carolina that he and his son only met with the members of the agency after he had declared for the NBA Draft. He wound up signing with a different agent.
Tony Bradley Sr. told Inside Carolina that his son never met with Dawkins or anyone at the agency. Bradley Sr. confirmed having lunch with members of the agency after his son officially declared for the NBA Draft last April. The meeting was scheduled during the family’s efforts to hire an agent.
“They didn’t take us to a fancy restaurant,” Bradley Sr. said. “We went to the office and ordered pizzas. We ate pizzas while they introduced everyone that worked for [Miller]. It wasn’t dinner or anything like that.”
Bradley Sr. said neither his son nor his family met with any agents before entering the NBA Draft. Bradley’s agent is John Spencer of 540 Sports and Entertainment.
“We never took any money,” Bradley Sr. said.
The third Tar Heel goes back to the 1990s. Brendan Haywood, a UNC player from 1997-2001, is listed as having received a loan of $351.17. Since the former NBA center last played in 2015, and was in college when Dawkins was still in elementary school, it is a fair assumption that any loan he received was well outside of the NCAA's purview.
North Carolina basketball has dealt with plenty from the NCAA over the last number of years. However, in the grand scheme of things so far with this FBI probe, it doesn't seem like anything terribly serious should come out of this particular report for the Tar Heels. That being said, fans of every major program should have their guards up right now.