In the wake of Friday’s Yahoo Sports report identifying players who potentially received cash and gifts from Andy Miller’s agency, prominent college basketball programs are rushing to distance themselves from the agent at the center of the FBI investigation.
Several released statements Friday afternoon downplaying their ties to Miller and his agency, ASM Sports, in hopes of showing that they were not complicit with any potential NCAA violations.
Kentucky coach John Calipari said he has “no relationship with Andy Miller or any of his associates.” Calipari added that neither he nor his staff “utilized Andy Miller or any other agent to provide financial benefits to student athletes.”
Mitch Barnhart, Kentucky’s athletic director, said that the school will conduct an internal investigation into allegations that freshman Kevin Knox and former player Bam Adebayo both received improper benefits from ASM Sports. An ASM balance sheet obtained first by federal investigators and later by Yahoo Sports refers to Adebayo receiving $12,000 while in college and Knox having a meal with Miller’s former associate, Christian Dawkins. There is also a later reference to Adebayo that says he received $36,500.
Kentucky released a second statement Saturday saying that its internal investigation, “based on the available information, determined that there were no eligibility issues or rules violations for any current student-athletes or staff.”
Maryland coach Mark Turgeon also released a statement on Friday in response to Diamond Stone’s name appearing on the ASM ledger. Stone, at the time a highly touted freshman at Maryland, received a $14,303 cash advance according to the documents.
“Late last night we were alerted of a report associating one of our former student-athletes with an agent. Turgeon said. “We are extremely disappointed, and we will fully cooperate with any investigation.
“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.”
N.C. State went a step farther in distancing itself from Miller after learning that the federal documents allege that former Wolfpack guard Dennis Smith Jr. received $73,500 in loans from ASM. Athletic director Debbie Yow released a copy of a letter the school drafted in 2012 disassociating itself with Miller because of his dishonesty about his business relationship with a Georgia-based AAU coach whose former players included three former N.C. State stars.
The documents published Friday by Yahoo Sports identify players from more than 20 Division I men’s basketball programs as possibly breaking NCAA rules. Among the other programs ensnared include Duke, North Carolina, Texas, Michigan State, USC and Alabama.
Some of the extra benefits players or their families allegedly received from Miller’s agency are in the tens of thousands of dollars. Others cover basic meals or transportation.
At this time, only San Diego State has decided to be cautious about potentially playing a player who could be ineligible. The school “provisionally suspended” senior forward Malik Pope from all team activities on Friday while it investigates the $1,400 payment listed next to his name on the ASM balance sheet.
Neither Duke nor Michigan State appear to have any plans to hold out future first-round picks Wendell Carter and Miles Bridges.
Duke AD Kevin White released a statement re: Wendell Carter's appearance in Yahoo's report. They “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 ACC.”
— Rob Dauster (@RobDauster) February 23, 2018
Michigan State’s Tom Izzo weighs in on the Yahoo report. pic.twitter.com/YiaroG18Bq
— Brian Hamilton (@_Brian_Hamilton) February 23, 2018
USC, Clemson, Washington and South Carolina are among a handful of other schools that released statements on Friday saying they’re aware of allegations against their former players. Each school said they are gathering information and will cooperate with any potential investigation.
— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) February 23, 2018
We are aware of the Yahoo! Sports report. We have taken steps proactively to reach out to the NCAA and the BIG EAST Conference, and while we have not been contacted by investigators, we will be conducting our own internal review.
— Seton Hall (@SetonHall) February 23, 2018
— Brad Fralick (@BradFralickWYFF) February 23, 2018
Statement from Ray Tanner on the FBI probe into NCAA corruption that Yahoo released this morning: pic.twitter.com/K41UeVupP2
— DailyGamecock Sports (@TDG_Sports) February 23, 2018
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