A day of reckoning has arrived for college basketball. Whether it's justified or not depends on the reader.
The FBI's investigation into the wrongdoings and illegal bribes in college basketball has always seemed odd on the surface. The Bureau is basically doing the NCAA's dirty work for them, except this time with legal ramifications.
Fair or not, some of that information has leaked. And it is juicy, to say the least.
.@YahooSports exclusive: federal documents seized from ASM Sports show potential NCAA violations involving more than 20 schools and 25 players, including some of the biggest names and programs in college basketball https://t.co/2AKfNzTWsU— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) February 23, 2018
Players of families from UNC, Duke, Kentucky, Michigan State, Alabama and more were mentioned in connection to sports agency ASM Sports, which invested money in players and programs in hopes they would eventually choose to sign with them as their amateur status dissipated.
As for the players involved, get ready for a laundry list:
- Dennis Smith Jr. received over $43,000 from the agency, and would eventually take his talents to NC State and the NBA Draft. He did not sign with ASM.
- Bam Adebayo received upwards of $36,500 from the agency, and also chose not to sign with them. The expense report includes a note, which reads "bad loan".
- Eventual No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz received $10,000 from ASM and did not sign with the agency.
- Infamous prospect Brian Bowen--a former Louisville player who transferred to South Carolina amid NCAA investigation--received upwards to $7,000 in loans and other rewards.
- Current LA Laker and former Ute Kyle Kuzma received at least $9,500 while at Utah.
- South Carolina star PJ Dozier received over $6,000.
- Clemson's Jaron Blossomgame received a Venmo transaction of over $1,000.
- First-round pick and former Kansas star Josh Jackson's mom received $2,700 in payments.
The list goes on, but those are the most serious charges, at least based on financial benefits.
The remaining charges include receiving hundreds of dollars and free meals while meeting with ASM. While initially not deemed as important, the list of those receiving benefits is loaded with top-tier talent. The likes of Miles Bridges, Collin Sexton, Wendell Carter, Kevin Knox, Tony Bradley, Wade Baldwin and Malcolm Brogdon all were implicated in the report.
At least a dozen Division I men's basketball programs and 25 players have been linked to possible recruiting and benefits violations by an FBI investigation, according to documents obtained by Yahoo! Sports. https://t.co/yV2HLCmNVP— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 23, 2018
While the players are by no means innocent, the larger story at play is the role that coaches and programs had in this bribery case.
ASM reportedly met with the likes of Tom Izzo and 'Villanova coaches'. This is the same case that cost Rick Pitino his job, and has also created cause for concern at Auburn with Bruce Pearl.
While this leaked info is undoubtedly a bombshell, it is just the tip of the iceberg.