The Latest: Texas to withhold Davis from competition
NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the corruption scandal in college basketball (all times Eastern):
Texas is withholding junior guard Eric Davis Jr. from competition until further notice after his name appeared in documents in a federal investigation into college basketball corruption.
Davis was named along with former Texas players Prince Ibeh and Isaiah Taylor in documents obtained by Yahoo Sports.
Davis received a $1,500 loan from ASM Sports associate Christian Dawkins, according to the documents.
“Winning with integrity is paramount to Texas Athletics, and we take these allegations very seriously,” Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte said in a statement. “We expect all of our programs to comply with NCAA rules, and every year we have all of our student-athletes sign forms attesting they will follow those rules. Beyond that, we put a great deal of effort and resources into educating our coaches and student-athletes on NCAA rules and regulations. Our compliance department is constantly monitoring and communicating with our coaches and student-athletes, as we are in this case. We will continue to work through this recent development and provide further updates when we have the necessary information to do so.”
San Diego State has provisionally suspended senior forward Malik Pope, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, while its compliance department investigates whether he received a $1,400 loan from an agent.
Pope’s name appears in documents that are part of a federal investigation into college basketball corruption. The documents were obtained by Yahoo Sports.
Pope won’t travel with the team for Saturday night’s game at San Jose State and coach Brian Dutcher isn’t sure if he’ll return this season.
“This is something we’re not used to at San Diego State, obviously,” Dutcher said Friday afternoon. “We’re looking into Malik’s name on the report. I have great faith in the people of this university to do so thoroughly and efficiently.”
Pope is averaging 12.7 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.2 blocked shots. SDSU (16-10, 8-7 Mountain West) has struggled this year. It is currently tied for fifth as it tries for a decent seed in the conference tournament.
Officials at Duke and Michigan State say they don’t believe their athletes violated any NCAA rules despite being named in a Yahoo Sports report that said documents showed they may have improperly accepted benefits from an agency implicated in a federal probe of college basketball.
Duke athletic director Kevin White said Friday there are “no eligibility issues” with Wendell Carter Jr. after the star freshman was identified in the report. The report says sports agent Christian Dawkins listed a $106 lunch with Carter’s mother in 2016 on an expense report. It was not clear in the report if Kylia Carter paid for her own meal.
White says the school “immediately reviewed the matter and, based on the available information, determined there are no eligibility issues” stemming from the report. He says the school has contacted the NCAA, and will work with both that group and the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo and interim athletic director Bill Beekman both say there’s no reason to believe anyone affiliated with the school’s basketball team did anything wrong. The Yahoo report says expense reports listed a $400 cash advance to the mother of Miles Bridges, as well as a $70 lunch with the parents of the star guard.
An attorney who has worked on NCAA eligibility cases says that the NCAA or schools would need to conduct their own investigations into alleged payments to players or their families instead of making any rulings based on documents from the FBI probe.
Don Jackson, based in Alabama, says the NCAA must follow its own procedures in looking into allegations from a Yahoo Sports report that says bank records and expense reports show a wide range of improper payments from agent Andy Miller or his agency.
Jackson says the NCAA “can’t just automatically accept the credibility of this document.”
Jackson also says that while there “may be” NCAA violations, he’s still “not convinced they are violations of federal law.”
Several schools have said they would cooperate in any investigation and that they were not aware of alleged payments detailed in the report released Friday.
Tennessee coach Rick Barnes says any connections tying Texas guard Eric Davis Jr. and ex-Texas center Prince Ibeh to former ASM Sports associate Christian Dawkins happened after his Texas coaching tenure.
“I haven’t read the report,” Barnes said. “What I was told today by one of my GA’s was that happened, the money that I guess that those guys received, happened after we left. That’s all I know.”
Barnes coached Texas for 17 seasons before getting fired in March 2015. Ibeh played for Texas from 2012-16. Smith signed with the Longhorns in November 2014 and began his Texas career in the 2015-16 season.
The Yahoo report says Davis received $1,500 from ASM Sports and that Ibeh either met with ASM Sports associate Christian Dawkins or had a meal with him.
Barnes said he wasn’t surprised by the overall scope of the report.
“I’m not surprised by anything that happens,” Barnes said. “I’ve been doing this a long time, so I’m not surprised by any of it. I don’t know what all’s in the report, and we can sit here and talk about it for days on end if we wanted to, all the things that have gone on in college basketball. I’m not surprised by any of it.”
Texas and Seton Hall also released statements that they were reviewing the allegations.
USC has become entangled in a federal investigation into improper payments to players for a second time.
Federal documents obtained by Yahoo Sports show Trojans forwards Bennie Boatwright and Chimezie Metu were among dozens of players who received thousands of dollars from the ASM Sports agency.
Boatwright or his father, Bennie Boatwright Sr., reportedly received at least $2,000 and Metu or his adviser, Johnnie Parker, received $2,000.
“We just became aware of this new information through media sources, and we take these allegations very seriously,” USC athletics said in a statement. “USC athletics places the highest priority on athletic compliance, and as we have demonstrated, we do not tolerate violations of our policies or NCAA rules. We will fully cooperate with the NCAA and federal authorities as well as conduct our own investigation into these allegations.”
In August, federal prosecutors alleged Trojans assistant coach Tony Bland received a $13,000 bribe in July from would-be agent Christian Dawkins and financial adviser Munish Sood in exchange for steering USC players to use their services when they became professionals.
USC guard D’Anthony Melton was ruled ineligible this season because of the case involving Bland, who was fired.
Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak, who has been outspoken about programs not running clean programs, says he knew nothing about loans from a sports agency to former Utes forward Kyle Kuzma while he was in school.
“This situation came to my attention this morning, and I have absolutely no knowledge about it,” Krystkowiak said in a statement Friday. “At this point, these are allegations. I know we run a clean program, and my complete focus will be getting our squad ready for our game against USC.”
Kuzma, now playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, received $9,500 in what were termed loans or cash advances from ASM Sports, according to a Yahoo Sports report.
Kuzma played at Utah from 2013-17 and previously had been lauded by Krystkowiak for doing things the right way.
“We learned this information this morning just like everyone else,” Utah athletic director Chris Hill said in a statement. “Unethical agents have been an issue in college athletics — particularly men’s basketball and football — for many years despite repeated educational efforts by the schools. Certainly this is a topic that our Pac-12 reform committee on NCAA men’s basketball is addressing.
“Personally, I welcome the scrutiny on the sport of men’s basketball because the behavior of some agents, along with reports of other illegal recruiting activities, is hurting the sport. Coach Krystkowiak has a great deal of integrity and runs a clean program, but this situation shows there are areas outside a coach’s control that need to be fixed.”
South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner says he had not heard the latest allegations regarding current and former Gamecock players Brian Bowen Jr. and P.J. Dozier until Thursday night and pledged continued cooperation with investigating authorities.
A Yahoo Sports report says Bowen and Dozier were among players alleged to receive improper payments or have meals or travel paid for by Andy Miller or his agency.
Documents that are part of the FBI’s college corruption case reviewed by Yahoo Sports show Bowen received $7,000, including $1,500 in plane tickets before enrolling in Louisville.
Bowen was already at the center of the FBI’s case and his family was alleged to have accepted $100,000. The allegations led to the firing of Louisville coach Rick Pitino and Bowen was suspended by the school.
He enrolled at South Carolina last month with Tanner and Gamecocks coach Frank Martin both saying the school had done its due diligence at vetting Bowen before he joined.
Bowen would need to be reinstated by the NCAA before playing for South Carolina next season.
Dozier is alleged to have received $6,115 from Miller’s agency, ASM, during his two years with the Gamecocks. Dozier was part of South Carolina’s Final Four team a season ago.
Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich says the school did not know of an alleged payment to former player Jaron Blossomgame until the player was named in a Yahoo Sports report detailing potential impermissible payments from an agent to college basketball athletes and their families.
Radakovich said Friday the Tigers had not received prior notice of an inquiry about the federal investigation. He says the school is reviewing the matter.
Documents from the report say Blossomgame received $1,100 while still in school from agent Andy Miller and his agency ASM Sports.
Clemson basketball coach Brad Brownell says he had no knowledge of the investigation and would not comment. He said the program will cooperate with any agency if contacted.
Brownell said he’s always tried to conduct himself within the rules and holds his staff to the same standard.
Kentucky coach John Calipari says neither he nor his staff utilized Andy Miller or any other agent to provide financial benefits to student athletes, and the school says it will conduct an internal review and cooperate with authorities.
Current Wildcats freshman forward Kevin Knox and ex-players Nerlens Noel and Bam Adebayo are named in a Yahoo Sports report released Friday that says bank records and expense reports show a wide range of impermissible payments to players and their families from Miller and his agency.
Calipari said in a statement that he has “no relationship with Andy Miller or any of his associates” and will cooperate in the investigation.
University President Eli Capiluto says the school learned of the report Thursday night and “began immediately to conduct our due diligence” and will cooperate. Athletic director Mitch Barnhart added that Kentucky has not been contacted by the FBI or NCAA in the matter but has reached out to the governing body along with the Southeastern Conference.
North Carolina State athletic director Debbie Yow says the school in 2012 disassociated itself from a former NBA agent at the center of a federal probe into college basketball corruption.
According to a Yahoo Sports report Friday, players and family members allegedly received cash, entertainment and travel expenses from Andy Miller and his agency.
A balance sheet from December 2015 lists several payments under “Loan to Players,” including $43,500 to Dallas Mavericks guard Dennis Smith, who played at N.C. State last season.
N.C. State had sent Miller and his businesses a 10-year disassociation letter, citing NCAA reports that indicate the agent worked closely with an AAU coach and saying that “creates a vulnerability” for the school “that we cannot tolerate.”
Yow says the school will fully cooperate with any investigations.
Bank records and other expense reports that are part of a federal probe into college basketball list a wide range of impermissible payments from agents to at least two dozen players or their relatives, according to documents obtained by Yahoo Sports.
Yahoo said Friday that the documents obtained in discovery during the investigation link current players including Michigan State’s Miles Bridges, Duke’s Wendell Carter and Alabama’s Collin Sexton to potential benefits that would be violations of NCAA rules. According to the report, players and family members allegedly received cash, entertainment and travel expenses from former NBA agent Andy Miller and his agency ASM Sports.
NCAA president Mark Emmert says in a statement Friday the allegations “if true, point to systematic failures that must be fixed and fixed now if we want college sports in America.”
A balance sheet from December 2015 lists several payments under “Loan to Players,” including $43,500 to Dallas Mavericks guard Dennis Smith, who played one season at North Carolina State in 2016-17.