A number of current college basketball players have been named in federal documents obtained by Yahoo! Sports related to the FBI's ongoing investigation. Many are star players for big-time programs.
Yahoo!'s Pete Thamel has been teasing that many of the biggest programs in the country could be implicated. That appears to be the case based on this new report.
The records obtained from former NBA agent Andy Miller of ASM Sports and his associate Christian Dawkins include bank records and balance sheets. They explicitly name dozens of players, most of whom are no longer in college.
Some received loans ranging from a few hundred dollars into the five figures. Others dined with Dawkins, which is not a violation in and of itself, unless he paid for it.
There is also the iffy questions over who received payments, and whether the players were aware of them. We enter murky territory if payments were made to family members or "advisers" without the players themselves being aware of what was going on.
Four current college basketball players are listed as having received at least $1,500 in current payments. From the report:
- Current USC player Bennie Boatwright and/or his father, Bennie Sr. (According to documents, they received at least $2,000.)
- Current USC player Chimezie Metu and/or adviser, Johnnie Parker. (According to documents, they received $2,000.)
- Current Texas player Eric Davis. (According to documents, he received $1,500.)
- Current South Carolina player Brian Bowen, who was ensnared in the initial federal investigation and started his career at Louisville last fall until the school withheld him from competition. His father, Brian Sr., also received money, according to the documents. (Dawkins’ expense reports also list more than $1,500 in plane tickets for Bowen, his father and his mother. He and his family received at least $7,000 in benefits, according to the documents.)
Yahoo's report itself doesn't mention him, but another player included under the loans section is San Diego State's Malik Pope. He allegedly received $1,400, according to the list.
Perhaps the top player involved is Michigan State's Miles Bridges. The preseason player of the year candidate's mother received "hundreds of dollars in advances" according to Dawkins' documents.
Alabama superstar point guard Collin Sexton, Duke forward Wendell Carter, and Kentucky forward Kevin Knox are all on a list of players that had met with or dined with Dawkins. It is unclear if the meals were paid for, or the amounts spent.
Knox's father has already released a statement denying that he has met with Miller or Dawkins. From SEC Country:
“Obviously the investigation is still going on, but the only comment I can say is I’ve never met Christian Dawkins before or Andy Miller, and if they sat next to me at the grocery store, I wouldn’t know who they were,” Kevin Knox Sr. said. “Out of respect for the NCAA investigation and the University of Kentucky investigation into this, I’d just say that I’ve never met Christian Dawkins or Andy Miller before and leave it at that.”
It is unclear how these schools and the NCAA will handle this report with regard to these current college basketball players so close to the NCAA Tournament. We'll have more as it comes out.