Texas guard Eric Davis Jr. and former center Prince Ibeh were both named in a Yahoo Sports story as two players who allegedly received money or had a relationship with a sports agency.
The wide-sweeping story released early Friday reveals information obtained by the FBI as part of the agency’s investigation into college basketball.
Yahoo Sports was allowed to view hundreds of documents that implicated at least 20 Division I programs and more than 25 players, the story said.
Some of the major programs named included Texas, Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, Michigan State and others.
“I was recently made aware of this morning’s report regarding our men’s basketball program,” Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte said in a statement. “Coach (Shaka) Smart and I have talked, we are gathering facts and will address the situation when we have more information.”
The story details several players who received at least $10,000 in loans from ASM Sports. Among the largest was Dennis Smith, who played at North Carolina State. He received $43,500, according to the documents viewed by Yahoo Sports.
Davis’ name was mentioned among those who received at least $1,000. He received $1,500, according to the Yahoo report.
Davis committed to the Longhorns under former coach Rick Barnes. The Michigan native announced his commitment on Sept. 16, 2014, in his high school gym in front of about 200 people. While he committed to Barnes, Davis has played the last three seasons under Smart.
Ibeh’s name was listed among those who at least had meetings with ASM, specifically Christian Dawkins, who is characterized as a former associate of ASM. Ibeh was recruited and played for Barnes from 2013-16.
Dawkins also had dinners with various coaches, the report said. Michigan State’s Tom Izzo was named directly along with “Villanova coaches.”
“There’s nothing wrong with meeting with an agent,” said Atlanta-based lawyer Stu Brown told Yahoo. “But then it becomes a question of who pays for the meal.”
Any school that’s implicated in the FBI investigation faces a difficult question — should the named players continue to play or not? It’s unclear how long the FBI investigation could last, and an NCAA investigation could take even longer. The NCAA has no subpoena power to obtain documents from federal authorities and cannot compel witnesses to testify.
In October, then-UT Athletic Director Mike Perrin said he had “no reason” to think Texas would be involved in the FBI investigation. “Nobody has contacted me about that,” Perrin said then. “I’ve inquired internally of our staff and have no concerns at all.”
At the time, Smart said the investigation was “obviously not good for our sport.”
NCAA president Mark Emmert issued a statement in response to the Yahoo story and said the NCAA is committed to working with federal prosecutors.
“These allegations, if true, point to systematic failures that must be fixed and fixed now if we want college sports in America,” Emmert said. “Simply put, people who engage in this kind of behavior have no place in college sports. They are an affront to all those who play by the rules.”
Emmert added the NCAA board is “completely committed to making transformational changes to the game and ensuring all involved in college basketball do so with integrity.”
Contact Brian Davis at 512-445-3957. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor’s note: This is a developing story.
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