Re: College Basketball Bribery Scandal

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Posted by Historian on September 26, 2017 at 23:36:41:

In Reply to: Re: College Basketball Bribery Scandal posted by Stevie Wonder on September 26, 2017 at 19:35:23:

: : Adidas Executive and 10 others arrested in college basketball bribery scandal. Look out folks the mud is going to start flying. All brands are going to be under the microscope!

: Could see this coming a mile away! All you had to do was even been remotely attached to or know someone that was high level.

Two words: Myron Piggie. Does no one coaching college, or running a shoe company, or who is involved in AAU and college recruiting even remember what happened with this guy?

Myron Piggie ran a very successful AAU program in the Missouri/Kansas area. Sponsored by a shoe company (that will go unnamed), and provided with shoes, gear and tons of cash. He was caught providing payments to players (stuffing money in shoe boxes, paying players after competing in games, taking them on trips, etc.).

Piggie was playing with small time dollars though, not enough for anyone but the NCAA to get really excited about, but someone dropped a dime on him (and on many of his players, including Jaron Rush, Earl Watson, and several others) that they were being paid money and had thus forfeited their NCAA eligibility.

But it was not limited to just the NCAA. The DOJ got involved and Piggie was prosecuted federally for wire fraud and money laundering and bribery....essentially the same thing that the defendants in the current scandal are being charged with (on the theory that the universities that had recruited Piggie's players had been defrauded into believing his players were amateurs, when in fact they'd been paid to play and were ineligible under NCAA rules.

Amazingly, Nike managed to completely escape any culpability in the Piggie affair, but they came darn close to getting the company indicted. Their defense was that they'd done nothing wrong, had only paid money to support an AAU program and what Piggie did with the money was his business.

But for the fact that in this recent scandal the Feds apparently have audio and video of college coaches and Adidas employees talking about bribing players, exchanging envelopes stuffed with cash, paying players families and talking about "keeping it quiet" so as not to let others know about the payments, as well as records and documents from Adidas's own files which purportedly show who got paid and how much, the same old lame excuses that Nike used almost 20 years ago might have worked yet again, just as it's been working all along.

These recent arrests are just the tip of the iceberg and you can bet that there are literally hundreds of college recruiters, agents, players and their families, and shoe company employees at EVERY shoe company that sponsors AAU teams who are waiting for the other shoe to drop, both figuratively and quite literally. Lot's of people waiting and dreading the knock on the door, when a bunch of guys in suits with crew cuts they've not yet met all show up unannounced.

There will no doubt be more to follow. Just today, after the three federal complaints were revealed by the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of NY, the FBI executed a search warrant at the offices of agent Andrew Miller and they reportedly seized records and computers. For those who don't know, Andy Miller's ASM agency (Andrew S. Miller) is one of the most powerful basketball agencies, representing more than 35 current NBA players. One of the key defendants arrested earlier this week had worked for Miller's agency and was reportedly terminated in May when it was discovered the former employee, Christian Dawkins had fraudulently charged a huge sum of money (well over $50K) to one of Miller's player/client's accounts that the firm managed.

Whether that termination had anything to do with the timing of the arrests this week or not, the big question is what will those computer records and files from Miller's office show?

It's important that people not lose site of the big picture here: This sort of thing, bribes to players and their families to steer them to agents, money managers, certain sponsored schools, by coaches and shoe companies, all with the hope that when the kids turn pro they will return the quid pro quo, has been going on for decades.

And to "David" who has posted several times today about respecting various programs because they are not sponsored by shoe companies (although they play in shoe company-sponsored tournaments and events), that sort of statement completely misses the point and it also ignores history. Most of the programs "David" (who I'm certain is Mike Moore using one of his usual aliases) cites at one time or another in their history were no different than any of the teams sponsored by Adidas, Nike or Under Armour. Heck, ARC (one cited by "David") was originally a huge Nike-sponsored program and then was sponsored by LA Gear. I remember the days when Rich Goldberg of ARC used to fly Jason Kidd down from Oakland just to play at Izzy Washington's Slam N Jam, and if you don't think there wasn't some "consideration" exchanged to get the young Mr. Kidd to come down to LA to play, you're dreaming. What's clear though to those who have followed basketball and high level college recruiting in Southern California and the West Coast and who know the history, know that this is nothing new, and the only real question is what has taken the Feds so long to try to expose it all?

No doubt there is much more to come in the weeks and months ahead. This has the potential to change college basketball itself forever. Whether it will or not remains to be seen.

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