First, the Bad News
According to a Yahoo! report into the FBI’s broad, ongoing investigation of college basketball, NBA superagents Miller and Dawkins not only know where the bodies were buried, they even kept a detailed spreadsheet:
In fact, Yahoo’s sources say there’s a surprising level of specificity in the documents tied to former NBA agent Andy Miller and former associate Christian Dawkins and how they paid the families of top college recruits. There also are wiretapped conversations of deals being brokered between Dawkins and the clients he was recruiting.
“There are spreadsheets detailing who got paid, how much they got paid and how much more they were planning to pay,” an unidentified source familiar with the investigation told Yahoo. “The feds got everything they wanted and much more. Don’t think it will only be players who ended up signing with (Miller’s agency) that got paid. Those spreadsheets cast a wide net throughout college basketball. If your school produced a first-round pick in the past three years, be worried.”
There’s potential impermissible benefits and preferential treatment for players and families of players at Duke, North Carolina, Texas, Kentucky, Michigan State, USC, Alabama and a host of other schools. The documents link some of the sport’s biggest current stars - Michigan State’s Miles Bridges, Alabama’s Collin Sexton and Duke’s Wendell Carter - to specific potential extra benefits for either the athletes or their family members. The amounts tied to players in the case range from basic meals to tens of thousands of dollars.
Now, the good news
The database lists specific amounts paid to players or their families. For instance, Kentucky’s Edrice Adebayo received $12,000. Among the names NOT on the “receiving money” list is Alabama’s Collin Sexton. According to the report, names in the spreadsheet were often just for internal expenses or were expenditures made trying to obtain players to represent.
So, my best guess here as to why Sexton would appear on the Dawkins/Miller list is two-prong. First, as with the Sexton’s trip to Michel in July, this could be a meeting his family had with Miller and Dawkins. Unlike Atlanta, LA is a plane flight and an overnight stay from Georgia. Sexton is a lottery pick; most agents want to represent him. It is not out of the realm of possibility that his family received incidentals such as meals or defrayed travel or a night in the hotel for a meeting. Second, it could also be something as simple and minor as their own unsuccessful internal recruitment costs they expended to land Sexton. (Apparently, the pair would woo three players on average to land one to represent.) Neither are particularly grievous.
Given the damning things here, and Sexton’s noticeable absence from the list of direct payment or other big-ticket items, it very much appears as though Alabama’s involvement is secondary and minor, much as we had heard from #sources back in August with the Baker/Michel meeting in Atlanta. Barring a smoking gun from a third-party detailing payments to Sexton or his family, sanctions here are likely to be personal to Sexton: repayment of any meals, etc. and/or represent minor program penalties...if there are any at all. For now, although Alabama is named with respect to Sexton, things still appear to be largely on the up and up. The uncertainty that it’s not is what’s the killer .
Sexton, meanwhile, is making nearly every all-freshman list you can imagine.
The rest of the points:
- Of course, we (collectively and CBB specifically) are in this mess because of the bizarre NBA “one-and-done” rule (A/K/A the Kentucky diploma.) You can bank on the 19 years old/one-and-done rule going away. Why is it sure to be eliminated during the next round of collective bargaining? The NBA is troubled by the rule and it needs addressing immediately, and, more importantly for their product, league commish Adam Silver said:
...The NBA and the NBPA has shared data and has studied whether athletes have performed better with one year of college, or whether there’s more success when they come straight to the league. (The one-and-done rule began with the 2005 CBA.)
Yup. It’s gone by the CBA — and it could be gone earlier than that. RIP John Calipari’s career.
- The SEC took it on the chin Saturday in the Bracket Bloodbath. Arkansas, which started hot, and A&M, which has been trying to rebounding, look to be in the most trouble down the stretch. Saturday’s Tide-Hogs game and then again a week later vs. the Ags could be Tourney elimination tilts for one or more teams.
- One squad having no such bubble worries is the Missouri Tigers. Like the Tide, the Tigers are a very young team. But, unlike ‘Bama, they have been red-hot and consistent down the stretch, and play smart basketball on the road. Mizzou is almost certainly an NCAA lock. And they just got great news to boot: Just in time for the tourney, comes now the nation’s No. 1 recruit and NBA lottery pick, a healthy Michael Porter Jr. — because Cuonzo Martin needs another shiny toy. MU is my darkhorse from the SEC to make a deep tournament run? (One player that will be unavailable is reserve gaurd Terrence Phillips. Martin had gutted his minutes throughout the season, then the junior was kicked off the team following an investigation into sexual assault allegations.)
- One team not having such a good go of January and February are the Oklahoma Sooners. This has been an historic collapse. And, since ‘Bama needed that victory as a resume line item, of course the Dirt Burglars are now falling apart.
- How bizarre was Andy Kennedy’s ouster/quitting at Ole Miss? Rock M Nation puts Kennedy’s career in perspective arriving at the nigh-unassailable conclusion that whomever the Rebels hire, they won’t be as steady and as consistently good as Kennedy was. (For that, I say good. Now maybe ‘Bama can win in Oxford every now and again.)
- Sharing a conference with Kentucky, we are intimately familiar with Rupp Rules. But, what’s going on at the Phog with Kansas is unbelievably bush league:
Kansas shot 35 free throws inside Allen Fieldhouse Saturday night. West Virginia shot two. Although the Mountaineers are known for their aggressive, physical “Press Virginia” style defense, that discrepancy is still staggering.
Bob Huggins, who was thrown out of the game in the closing seconds, had a few other words to describe it
35 to 2. Unreal.
Was Huggie Bear just being salty? The data say, “nope, it’s rotten in Lawrence.”
Kansas’ free throw disparity at home has been unusually large the past two seasons when the Jayhawks have abandoned their traditional bruising two big man lineup in favor of a four-guard look. A Kansas team that aggressively attacked the basket off the dribble last season shot 11.6 more free throws per game at Allen Fieldhouse than visiting Big 12 opponents. The Jayhawks are more 3-point-oriented so far this season, but they still have attempted 9.6 more foul shots per game at Allen Fieldhouse than visiting Big 12 opponents.
Now, run that same analysis with the Wildcats. #salty
- Finally, it’s not every day you see a cheerleader get the hook. But, one from Arizona was told to hit the showers after heckling archrival Arizona State following a missed a free throw:
That’s the kind of hate we can respect around here. Good hustle.
Which SEC team is most likely to go on a deep tournament run
This poll is closed
Auto-bid winner (if not listed)
None of the above, period.
Two or more teams.