Maryland receives subpoenas in connection with federal investigation of college basketball corruption

Maryland confirmed Friday it has received multiple subpoenas in connection with the federal investigation of corruption in college basketball. (AP)
Maryland confirmed Friday it has received multiple subpoenas in connection with the federal investigation of corruption in college basketball. (AP)

The University of Maryland on Friday released documents confirming that it has received multiple subpoenas in connection with the federal investigation of corruption in college basketball.

The first subpoena specifically targets information regarding Maryland assistant coach Orlando “Bino” Ranson and an unnamed player. It focuses on their relationship with agent runner Christian Dawkins, who previously has been charged in the probe. The second subpoena summoned Maryland officials to appear before a federal grand jury in New York on July 3 — an obligation that was satisfied when the university turned over requested documents.

Maryland released a statement regarding the subpoenas: “On March 15, 2018, and June 29, 2018, the University received grand jury subpoenas for documents related to the ongoing federal investigation of college basketball. The University complied with the subpoenas by providing responsive records. None of the responsive records shows evidence of any violations of applicable laws or NCAA bylaws by University coaches, staff or players. The University has cooperated and will continue to cooperate fully with the ongoing federal investigation.”

Ranson declined comment to Yahoo Sports Friday morning.

Yahoo Sports originally filed a Freedom of Information request with Maryland seeking documents pertaining to federal subpoenas in April. On multiple occasions — twice in May and once in June — Maryland delayed delivering documents pertaining to Yahoo Sports’ FOI request. The FOI request was met three days after the requested grand jury appearance.

Yahoo Sports reported in February that documents obtained by the feds from ASM Sports, the agency that employed Dawkins, showed that Dawkins allegedly paid $14,303 to former Maryland player Diamond Stone. The highly touted recruit played one season at Maryland, in 2015-16, before turning professional.

Additional redacted documents delivered by Maryland to Yahoo Sports on Friday pertained to former Adidas executive Merl Code, who has been charged in the probe, and former prospective recruit Silvio De Sousa, who wound up playing last season at Kansas.

In an April superseding indictment, a guardian of a Kansas recruit told Adidas they had received illicit payments in return for a commitment to steer the athlete to a university sponsored by a rival athletic apparel company. The guardian said the player favored Kansas and needed “another $20,000 payment” to “help get the student-athlete ‘out from under’ the deal.”

The indictment then alleged the player made a surprise commitment to Kansas on Aug. 30, 2017. News accounts on that date show Silvio De Sousa, a native of Angola who attended IMG Academy in Florida, committed to Kansas. Previously, De Sousa was considered a strong favorite to attend Maryland, which has an apparel contract with Under Armour.

De Sousa, who reclassified from the high school class of 2018 to 2017, was cleared to play by the NCAA this past season on Jan. 13, 2018 – midway through the season. He was part of the Jayhawks’ Final Four team. Less than three months after the NCAA certified his academic and amateur status, he was implicated in a federal indictment alleging that his guardian received money in exchange for De Sousa playing for the Jayhawks.

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