[ESPN] - Regardless what happens with the criminal cases, sources with knowledge of the FBI investigation told ESPN this week that the clandestine probe could result in potential NCAA violations for as many as three dozen Division I programs, based on information included in wiretap conversations from the defendants and financial records, emails and cell phone records seized from NBA agent Andy Miller. His office was raided on the same day the FBI arrested 10 men, including four assistant coaches, in late September.
“It’s not the mid-major programs who were trying to buy players to get to the top,” a source told ESPN. “It’s the teams that are already there.”
So the FBI investigation is obviously still looming over the college basketball season and while there hasn’t been an advancement yet in the case, we’re seeing more reports start to come out. Earlier this week the charges against Brad Augustine were dropped. Augustine ran the 1-Family AAU program in Florida and had accepted $150,000 from an undercover agent in order to funnel a top recruit to a certain program. However, records showed that Augustine kept the money for himself and did not give it to the recruit, therefore no crime was committed.
Today we should find out a little bit more about what’s going on. That’s because attorneys representing former Adidas executives James Gatto and Merl Code and former sports agent Christian Dawkins are expected to argue in a New York court that what their clients are accused of doing isn’t a federal crime. They are accused of course of funneling money from Adidas to top recruits in an effort to get the recruits to Adidas-sponsored schools.
While that’s all talked about, the real thing college basketball fans are waiting for is the NCAA to release some information. They are the ones that ultimately will decide what programs get severe punishment, some punishment or none at all. Right now the NCAA has only ruled guys like Austin Wiley ineligible and we haven’t seen or heard any sort of punishment for the schools (Miami, Arizona, Louisville, Oklahoma State, USC and Auburn) listed in the original investigation.
So where is this number of three dozen programs coming from? Former NBA agent Andy Miller’s office essentially along with information included in wiretap conversations, e-mails and cellphone records seized from Miller. On the same day the FBI arrested the 10 men involved in the corruption scandal, Miller’s office was raided by the FBI. It’s no real surprise that there are this many programs listed in the report. This was always the dirty secret that everyone knew about in college basketball. The biggest question is really just what exactly are these 36ish schools accused of doing?
It will take some time until the FBI investigation wraps up, but really if you’re a college basketball fan you’re going to care more about what the NCAA says and does.