North Carolina recruiting: More details emerging about FBI investigation

Join us daily at ACC DieHards for the latest North Carolina recruiting news and notes on the next crop of Tar Heels. Don’t miss any coverage from Cody Pace and the team. Read his daily notebooks  here  at 9 a.m. ET Monday through Friday. In this edition, we discuss new details that have emerged in the FBI investigation into college basketball recruiting.

It remains to be seen what exactly the ramifications will be from the FBI’s investigation into college basketball recruiting, but it seems like the more information that emerges, the worse they get.

On Thursday a judge denied a motion to dismiss federal charges against three of the 10 men indicted as a result of the investigation. The trial for those three — James Gatto and Merl Code, adidas executives, and former agent Christian Dawkins — will begin on Oct. 1.

For North Carolina, the immediate results of the recent litigation bode well. While the Tar Heels were never directly linked to the investigation, they did end up with 5-star small forward Nassir Little, who was believed to be one of the players referenced in the initial charges brought by the FBI. According to those documents, the adidas executives attempted to funnel money to Little through his AAU coach Jonathan Brad Augustine to get him to go to Miami, an adidas school, after the executives learned that Arizona was trying to woo Little with money believed to total $500,000. All of this information came to the FBI through a wire tap.

However, one set of charges were dropped this week, those on Augustine, according to ESPN’s Mark Schlabach. ESPN’s sources indicated that evidence in Augustine’s case showed that he never gave money to the family and instead kept the money for himself.

While the news appears to be good for Little and North Carolina, at least in the short term, the same can’t be said for the rest of the college basketball landscape.

In a report Wednesday, Yahoo! Sports’ Pete Thamel said the corruption case was a “ticking time bomb” and that it is likely to be devastating to the college basketball landscape when the hammer does drop.

“When this all comes out, Hall of Fame coaches should be scared, lottery picks won’t be eligible to play and almost half of the 16 teams the NCAA showed on its initial NCAA tournament show this weekend should worry about their appearance being vacated,” a source told Thamel.

This corroborates an ESPN source that indicated that the schools involved were top-tier schools and not mid-majors looking for an edge.

According to Thamel, much of the bombshell news stems from evidence sized from a raid of the office of NBA agent Andy Miller. Thamel indicated that all of the information collected could implicate as many as 50 schools in some capacity and one source went as far as to say that the NCAA would be better off changing the rules if the information collected from Miller ever becomes public.

While it’s unclear which schools will ultimately be affected by this — though it may be easier to tally which ones won’t — some of the information available is worth considering.

For starters, there are only a handful of active hall of fame coaches, as the Yahoo! source implicated. Roy Williams is on that list, as is Michigan State’s Tom Izzo, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, Kentucky’s John Calipari, Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim and now-former Louisville coach Rick Pitino, who’s certainly already been implicated in the investigation.

It’s worth noting that with the exception of Pitino, every one of those coaches is at a Nike school, which indicates that the information seized by the FBI goes beyond adidas at this point.

The same source also indicated that “almost half” of the 16 teams selected on the first NCAA selection show could be implicated. These were the 16 teams:

Auburn and Arizona had already been implicated in the initial FBI report, which leaves four to five additional teams on the list that could eventually be implicated.

With North Carolina’s relatively infrequent recruitment of one-and-done type players, it still seems pretty unlikely that the Tar Heels have been involved in the investigation. But at this point, nothing should surprise anyone, and college basketball is going to be left with a crater to clean up if and when this all finally gets out.

Miss a previous edition? Find every ACC DieHards daily North Carolina Tar Heels recruiting notebook right here.

The post North Carolina recruiting: More details emerging about FBI investigation appeared first on Diehards.

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