The Yahoo Sports report Friday morning naming several top basketball stars and college programs has sent another round of shockwaves through the sport.
Major programs such as Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Michigan State and Kansas had current and/or former players included in the report, which details documents and bank records related to former NBA agent Andy Miller and his former associate Christian Dawkins, who was arrested last fall in connection with the federal investigation into college basketball.
UK officials have responded to Friday’s report with a series of statements, and Coach John Calipari briefly commented on the situation Friday afternoon in addition to releasing a statement earlier in the day.
Here’s how other major programs are responding to Friday’s news:
Texas athletics director Chris Del Conte said in a statement Friday night that the Longhorns will sideline junior guard Eric Davis, who was named in the Yahoo report as having received $1,500 from Miller’s agency.
“We have initiated an internal review of the recent report that included allegations involving current and former University of Texas men’s basketball players,” Del Conte said in the statement. “We are in the process of gathering facts, but I did meet with Eric Davis Jr. this afternoon and let him know we are withholding him from competition for precautionary reasons until further notice, pending the review of this situation.
“Winning with integrity is paramount to Texas Athletics, and we take these allegations very seriously. 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 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.”
Tennessee Coach Rick Barnes, the former coach at Texas, said Friday that anything related to Miller’s agency and Davis or former Longhorns center Prince Ibeh, who was also named in the Yahoo report, happened after he had left Texas.
Barnes said he had not yet read the Yahoo report.
“I’m not surprised by anything that happens,” he 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.”
Barnes is in his third season with the Volunteers.
San Diego State also announced Friday that it has suspended senior forward Malik Pope, whose name appears in federal documents posted by Yahoo. Pope, the Aztecs’ leading scorer, won’t play for the team Saturday and his status for the rest of the season is unclear.
The mother of Duke freshman Wendell Carter was listed in a spreadsheet of Dawkins’ expense reports as having lunch with the former agent. Duke athletics director Kevin White issued the following statement Friday:
“A Duke student-athlete was identified in a Yahoo! Sports report this morning about men’s college basketball. Duke immediately reviewed the matter and, based on the available information, determined there are no eligibility issues related to today’s report. Duke has already contacted the NCAA and will continue to work collaboratively with the NCAA and the Atlantic Coast Conference. Duke has an uncompromising commitment to compliance in athletics. That has not, and will not, change.”
The mother of Michigan State sophomore Miles Bridges was mentioned in the Yahoo report as having accepted an advance loan of $400, in addition to a meal with Dawkins. Spartans Coach Tom Izzo released a statement Friday.
“We are aware of the report in Yahoo! Sports,” Izzo said. “While we will cooperate with any and all investigations, we have no reason to believe that I, any member of our staff or student-athlete did anything in violation of NCAA rules.”
Apples Jones, the mother of former Kansas star Josh Jackson, who is now playing in the NBA, was listed in the Yahoo report as having received $2,700 in payments from Miller’s agency while Jackson was still in school.
“I have never met Andy Miller, and while we had a relationship with Christian (Dawkins), we never took anything from him,” Jones told ESPN.
Former UNC player Tony Bradley Jr. was listed in the Yahoo report as having a meeting or meal with Dawkins. His father told Inside Carolina — a Scout.com affiliate — Friday that his son never met Dawkins or anyone at Miller’s agency. Bradley Sr. said that he did have a meeting with members of the agency after his son declared for the NBA Draft.
“They didn’t take us to a fancy restaurant,” Bradley Sr. told Inside Carolina. “We went to the office and ordered pizzas. We ate pizzas while they introduced everyone that worked for (Miller). It wasn’t dinner or anything like that.”
Bradley Jr. signed with a different agency. Former UNC player Brice Johnson is also listed as one of the players who had a meal later expensed by Dawkins.
“We have no information on what is mentioned in today’s Yahoo! story, but we will cooperate fully with any and all investigations,” UNC senior associate athletic director Steve Kirschner said Friday.
UNC Coach Roy Williams was asked about a previous Yahoo report last week and said he wasn’t concerned about the Tar Heels’ involvement in the federal investigation.
“I feel very comfortable,” Williams said then. “If the phone rings at night, I’m not worried about that. I may worry about a lot of other things but it ain’t about that.”
Alabama freshman Collin Sexton is another current college player mentioned in the Yahoo report on the list of players and/or family members who had a meal or meeting with Dawkins.
“I saw it,” Alabama Coach Avery Johnson said Friday. “We don’t have any updates on his situation at this time. At this time, we anticipate Collin will play (Saturday).”
Documents cited in the Yahoo report named former Maryland center Diamond Stone — in a heading under “loan to players” — as receiving more than $14,000 in payments from Miller’s agency while still in school.
Terrapins Coach Mark Turgeon released a statement Friday.
“Late last night we were alerted of a report associating one of our former student-athletes with an agent. We are extremely disappointed, and we will fully cooperate with any investigation,” Turgeon said. “I do not have a relationship with Andy Miller or anyone from his agency, and at no time have I ever had a conversation with Andy Miller or his agency regarding any Maryland basketball player. We remain steadfast in upholding a program of integrity that reflects the values of our University community.”
The Yahoo report details thousands of dollars in payments from Miller’s agency to former Wichita State player Fred Van Vleet and his stepfather while Van Vleet still played for the Shockers. Wichita State Coach Gregg Marshall has not commented on the report, but Shockers AD Darron Boatright did release a statement Friday.
“We are dedicated to conducting all aspects of Wichita State’s intercollegiate athletic programs with integrity and in full compliance with NCAA and American Athletic Conference rules,” Boatright said in an e-mail, according to the Wichita Eagle. “We have no knowledge of the transactions described in the Yahoo report published this morning. We will fully cooperate with any formal inquiries from NCAA or legal authorities regarding this matter.”
Former Clemson player Jarron Blossomgame received a payment of $1,100 while still in school, according to the Yahoo report.
“I’ve been in college basketball for over 25 years and I’ve always tried to conduct myself within the rules and have held my staff and players to the same standard,” Clemson Coach Brad Brownell said in a statement. “Because I do not have any personal knowledge about the current investigation, I won’t comment or speculate about that matter. We’ll cooperate with any agency looking into the issue if they contact us.”
The Yahoo report says a dozen programs were contacted for comment before the article was published early Friday morning, and Xavier Coach Chris Mack was the only one who offered a statement at that time.
“I have no relationship with Andy Miller or any of his associates. He plays no role in the recruitment of potential student athletes on Xavier’s behalf,” Mack said in the statement. “Beyond that, our staff has never created a path for him to foster a relationship with any of our student-athletes while enrolled at Xavier. Any suggestion that I or anyone on my staff utilized Andy Miller to provide even the slightest of financial benefits to a Xavier student-athlete is grossly misinformed. We are prepared to cooperate with any and all investigations at any level.”
The report states that former Xavier player Edmond Sumner and/or his father received at least $7,000 in payments while he was still in school.