In the latest twist to the ongoing FBI probe of the AAU basketball scene, Yahoo Sports posted an article with financial documents from former agent Christian Dawkins alleging payments & other forms of financial help to a number of D-I players. The list of player names is long and the financial amounts range from meals to significant financial advances, but two burnt orange names are included: current Texas Longhorn Eric Davis Jr. and former player Prince Ibeh. Davis is alleged to have received $1,500 while Ibeh is alleged to have met and/or received a meal from Dawkins.
I’m going to dig around and see if I can learn anything else about this, but here are my initial thoughts:
- Not all of the documents are posted to the article so some details of each alleged transaction aren’t available, but given the names I’m seeing I have a hunch both of these transactions happened under Rick Barnes’ watch. Both Davis & Ibeh
were recruited/committed before Barnes resigned, and most of the dates mentioned in the article are from 2015 so I don’t think any of the available information indicates the involvement of the current coaching staff.(EDIT: as user asa512 pointed out, one spreadsheet shows $500 to Davis in March 2016, which is just before Barnes resigned. I am bad at math, 2016 was the end of Shaka’s first year.)
- With that said, the current staff has a decision to make tonight on whether they keep playing Davis. There’s a good chance nothing from this investigation rolls down this season if for no other reason than the sheer amount of schools and players alleged to be involved and the NCAA may not end up doing anything substantive about this. The staff has to weigh whether or not they believe this report, whether or not they think Davis will be ruled ineligible, etc. It’s an interesting test for a coaching staff already walking a tightrope of getting into the tournament, and I (along with many others) will be watching their decision closely.
- The scholarship numbers for next season might suddenly make a bit more sense. Perhaps the staff knew something was up? I don’t have any confirmation of that, just thinking out loud here.
- A couple of these numbers do not surprise me, there have been rumors about a couple of these players for years. I won’t say which ones until these documents have been validated as real, but a couple of them are only a fraction of what’s been rumored.
- Since it might be the last time I get to use it:
I’ll let y’all know more if I find anything else out.
UPDATE 9:35 AM: If you look at the documents Yahoo posted, Isaiah Taylor’s name shows up in one 2016 meeting at P.F. Chang’s. This one, along with the others mentioned, all appear to have happened before Rick Barnes resigned.
UPDATE 10:00 AM: I am bad at math. Barnes resigned in March 2015, a couple of these transactions are from March 2016.
UPDATE 6:10 PM: Eric Davis Jr. has now been “withheld” from upcoming games.