The college basketball season kicks off in just a few weeks. In the meantime, the sport is in the cross-hairs of the FBI as the investigation and trial against two former Adidas executives and an agent continues.
On Tuesday, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan denied attempts from defense attorneys to “enter into evidence the kind of FBI intercepted phone calls featuring prominent basketball coaches that had stirred public interest in the federal college basketball fraud trial,” according to Yahoo! Sports.
The tapes reportedly mentioned Duke freshman Zion Williamson during Kansas’ recruitment of the top prospect. According to Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel, a phone call between Kansas assistant Kurtis Townsend and Adidas consultant Merl Code mentioned that Williamson allegedly asked for payment.
Code: “Hey, but between me and you, you know, he asked about some stuff. You know? And I said, ‘Well, we’ll talk about that, you decide’ … I know what he’s asking for. He’s asking for opportunities from an occupational perspective, he’s asking for cash in the pocket and he’s asking for housing for him and his family.”
Townsend: “I’ve got to just try to work and figure out a way because if that’s what it takes to get him here for 10 months, we’re going to have to do it some way.”
Williamson isn’t the only top recruit to be mentioned during the FBI’s investigation. This is the third mention of Kansas after the recruitment of Silvio De Sousa and Billy Preston. Jayhawks head coach Bill Self was also named during the trial – by a former Adidas consultant and AAU coach.
Stay tuned for more details as they become available.