New bombshells from the FBI's investigation into college basketball's "underbelly" emerged on Friday night.
First, ESPN reported that FBI wiretaps captured Arizona head coach Sean Miller discussing a $100,000 payment to guarantee that five-star recruit DeAndre Ayton would sign with the Wildcats. Ayton has been one of the top freshmen in college basketball this season for Arizona and is a projected top-5 pick.
ESPN's report came hours after Yahoo’s Pat Forde and Pete Thamel dropped a bombshell report naming over two dozen players and many prominent programs that may have committed NCAA violations.
Late Friday night, a new Yahoo report from Forde and Thamel named another school: Indiana. According to emails from ASM Sports associate Christian Dawkins, both Indiana and Michigan State negotiated potential "trade" agreements to ensure landing five-star prospect Brian Bowen.
Basically, the messages reportedly show MSU and Indiana offering current or former players as potential clients for ASM in exchange for Dawkins helping them land Bowen.
Dawkins, 24, provides a roadmap for the quid-pro-quo relationship between the agent world and college coaches. He dangles a high school prospect – five-star recruit Brian Bowen – as potential trade bait for schools to steer their best players to ASM Sports. On the same July day, Dawkins wrote to Miller that he connected with two Big Ten assistants, Dwayne Stephens of Michigan State and Chuck Martin, formerly of Indiana.
The email recounts the interactions from Dawkins’ perspective:
“Dwayne Stephens – Trying to close the deal on Brian Bowen for Michigan State. Trying to do a trade deal for (Spartans) Gary Harris, Miles Bridges, etc”
“Chuck Martin – Trying to close the deal on Brian Bowen for Indiana. I told him if we can work together and if he can push for us to get (Hoosiers) Thomas Bryant and OG Anunoby two projected first rounders from IU this year we can work something out.”
Bowen would eventually sign with Louisville but never played with the Cardinals as a result of the program's pay-for-play scandal that resulted in the dismissal of head coach Rick Pitino.
Bowen transferred to South Carolina but has not played for the Gamecocks yet.
Obviously, the details of this investigation are still being revealed. It wouldn't surprise us if more big-name players, programs and coaches are named.