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Additional Charges Filed In FBI Probe Into College Basketball

So just as it seems to be a bit quiet in the college basketball world, we get another turn with the FBI investigation. This time the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced a Superseding Indictment filed against James Gatto, Merl Code and Christian Dawkins, all of whom were originally named when the investigation first broke. This news comes not long after charges were dropped against Brad Augustine.

What this also does though is put Kansas and the Mark Gottfried-led staff at NC State officially involved with the allegations. In the original report, we knew about Miami and Louisville, but these new charges also involved Kansas and NC State, since those two schools along with Miami and Louisville were sponsored by Adidas.

So now the question is who are the players in question at NC State and Kansas regarding these allegations. For NC State, everyone is assuming it’s Dennis Smith Jr. That is due to the fact the report states that Gatto conspired to funnel $40,000 to a top recruit in North Carolina to go to North Carolina State.

NC State

This is from the report released tonight. There are some key things here, notably the entering the draft in June 2017. That all but locks in Dennis Smith as the reported player here. However, when you get to paragraph 32, look down and ‘one or more coaches.’ That’s a damning statement. So far during this we’ve heard about ‘rogue’ assistants or one coach from a staff making decisions. This is the first time we’ve heard of multiple staff members being involved in this scheme.

Now, with Kansas there are a bunch of questions. The first player rumored to be involved here is Josh Jackson, but the timeline doesn’t add up.  What is a bit terrifying if you’re a Kansas fan is the fact that this timeline shows that payments were happening after the original story broke.

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Kansas 2

Kansas 3

This says it was continuing into November of 2017. The original story broke in early October, just weeks before the season started. That’s uh, not a thing you want to read if you’re a Kansas fan here. Based on that timeline the report seems like the player is Silvio De Sousa, who committed to Kansas on August 30 of 2017. But, how about the scene out of the movie here? Dropping off a bag of cash in a hotel room?

Now the other player in question is a bit harder to track down, but there are allegations that it’s likely Billy Preston. If you remember correctly, Preston was supposed to play for Kansas this year and was being held out due to what seemed like a car situation. He eventually left the program and played overseas after never suiting up for Kansas. Again, these are just all speculations and reports based on the timeline of the documents released, nothing firm said by any program yet.

Another thing with Kansas – especially compared to the NC State news – is there’s no mention of coaches involved. It’s guardians or parents involved in the documents here where the NC State news talks about multiple coaches possibly being involved.

This is just another twist in this investigation which has been going on for about 8 months. The fallout so far has been everything at Louisville, Austin Wiley and Danjel Purifoy from Auburn sitting out this year, De’Anthony Melton from USC sitting out this year and the firings of the four assistant coaches named in the original report. We’ll see what happens from here on out – though it is worth noting the Louisville and Miami portion of the document doesn’t introduce anything new. It’s also worth mentioning that Jim Larranaga did sign a contract extension today at Miami.

As I stated from the get go with this investigation, there are going to be a million moving parts and this is just another one. We still have a long way to go before the NCAA even gets involved as right now this is strictly a FBI investigation. Remember, the NCAA doesn’t have all the information that the FBI has and they are just working on documents and their own investigations.

We’ll continue to update all of this as information comes out.