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, including Kevin Knox. So, what does it mean for Kentucky 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.
Knox is among those current players. Two former Wildcat stars are also cited in the Yahoo report.
Nerlens Noel, who played for the Kentucky team that missed the NCAA Tournament in 2013, is listed as a player who received a loan from Dawkins. The report also names Edrice "Bam" Adebayo, who played at UK in 2016-17.
John Calipari and Kentucky have addressed the most pressing inclusion, current UK forward Kevin Knox.
A few hours after the report dropped, Calipari and other Kentucky officials put out statements. From the Lexington Herald-Leader:
“I have no relationship with Andy Miller or any of his associates,” Calipari said. “Neither my staff nor I utilized any agent, including Andy Miller or any of his associates, to provide any financial benefits to a current or former Kentucky student-athlete. We will cooperate fully with the appropriate authorities.”
Kentucky plays Missouri tomorrow night. Calipari wasn't completely committal when asked if Knox will play, but did say that he would "as far as we know."
“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.”
Knox averages 15.4 points and 7.6 rebounds per game for Kentucky. He is the team leader in scoring, and plays the most minutes per game at 35.2.
Adebayo was allegedly the recipient of one of the biggest loans listed in the documents obtained by Yahoo. From the report:
A listing that refers to “BAM” for $12,000 is later identified in the documents as Edrice “Bam” Adebayo, who would go on to play at Kentucky in 2016-17. He did not sign with ASM. There’s a later reference to Adebayo that says he received $36,500. “Bad loan,” reads the document.
Noel is also listed among the players that received a loan. According to the documents, he allegedly received $4,350.
It is hard to know what these final two mean for Kentucky. There is no date on when Noel's loan was given; it may have been after leave Kentucky. If Adebayo received that huge chunk of money before starting his college career, however, Kentucky could have concerns about his eligibility while he played for the Wildcats.
The Knox situation is the most concerning right now, as we approach the NCAA Tournament, but if it was just a meal or a minor figure, there is a chance that he can pay back the amount without his eligibility being affected. We should learn more in the coming days about how Kentucky, and the rest of the basketball world, is impacted by this story.