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#pounditFriday, July 19, 2024

FBI documents show widespread payments to top college, high school players

Tom Izzo

The FBI’s extensive probe into college basketball corruption has resulted in at least three criminal investigations and could have a devastating impact across the sport in the coming months and years.

Hundreds of federal documents that were reviewed by Yahoo Sports showed just how common it is for money and impermissible benefits to be funneled to high school and collegiate athletes. Expense reports and balance sheets from former NBA agent Andy Miller, one of Miller’s associates and the ASM Sports agency appear to show that money was routinely paid to athletes and their families. One of the sheets obtained by the FBI shows accounts through the end of 2015 and has the subheading “Loans to Players.”

That sheet lists loans to several former high school and college players. The largest loan was handed out to Dallas Mavericks guard Dennis Smith Jr., who allegedly received as much as $73,500 in loans from ASM before and/or during when he played at North Carolina State in 2016 and 2017. The documents list “options to recoup the money” after Smith did not sign with ASM. The same is true for Brooklyn Nets guard Isaiah Whitehead, who is listed as having received $37,657 before he went on to sign with Roc Nation. No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz, who also did not sign with ASM, is listed as having received $10,000.

As Yahoo notes, the three criminal cases tied to the investigation could drag on for years. That could prevent the NCAA from being able to interview people associated with the cases and gather key information. However, top programs including Duke, North Carolina, Texas, Kentucky and Michigan State are all implicated in some way. Among the players included in the documents are current college stars like Michigan State’s Miles Bridges, Collin Sexton of Alabama and Wendell Carter of Duke.

The documents are worth skimming through just to see some of the names included and benefits provided, which include everything from dinner at Carrabba’s to tens of thousands of dollars. Tom Izzo’s name is mentioned, which is obviously a major concern given everything else that has been going on at Michigan State. While the investigations will take a while to sort through, the fallout will almost certainly be significant.


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