On Friday morning, Yahoo Sports dropped a bombshell story that added another public layer to the ongoing NCAA corruption scandal and named two former and one current Texas Longhorns players as recipients of impermissible benefits from ASM Sports. The agency is under federal investigation.
According to documents, junior guard Eric Davis Jr. received $1,500 from Christian Dawkins, an associate of ASM agent Andy Miller. Former center Prince Ibeh or his family was also listed as “meeting with or having a meal with Dawkins” in March 2016 at Lava Cafe. The meal cost $37.16.
The following day, Dawkins met with former point guard Isaiah Taylor, who was considering going pro at the time, for a $146.36 meal at PF Changs. The same invoice includes a $500 advance for Davis, with a subsequent invoice detailing another $500 advance.
The only current Longhorn, Davis will reportedly be held out of competition as Texas conducts an internal investigation, per Longhorn Network.
Guard Eric Davis Jr. will be held out of competition for precautionary reasons pending results of an internal Texas review.— Longhorn Network (@LonghornNetwork) February 24, 2018
As Pat Forde writes, since the criminal cases involved in this scandal are still ongoing, it’s difficult to tell how the NCAA will choose to react to it:
The breadth of names, schools and current players could offer a vexing test for both university compliance offices and the NCAA’s enforcement division. The sheer number of potential cases and varying degrees of potential violations are vast. There’s also an overriding factor of the ongoing criminal investigations. A complicating facet to it will be the NCAA’s potential inability to view key documents related to this case, because those details not in the criminal complaints are sealed under protective order. In terms of eligibility, the NCAA and the institution may be prohibited from interviewing people associated with the case because of the parallel criminal cases. (The initial onus to decide is almost always on the school in an eligibility case.)
No one is certain how the NCAA enforcement office would potentially handle the cases. The NCAA has been in constant contact with the feds but so far has had minimal direct involvement with the case, as it has been careful to respect the boundaries of the criminal investigations. The likely scenario, according to Brown, would be for the schools to assess the credibility of what’s in the documents and the severity of the potential violations.
The news could potentially impact Davis in the immediate future, as the school will likely start an investigation into the impermissible benefits he allegedly received. And the Longhorns are now officially one of the schools involved in the sprawling web of this investigation.
Texas AD Chris Del Conte on today's Yahoo report: "I was recently made aware of this morning’s report regarding our men’s basketball program. Coach Smart and I have talked, we are gathering facts and will address the situation when we have more information.”— Brian Davis (@BDavisAAS) February 23, 2018
NCAA president Mark Emmert released a statement Friday morning emphasizing the NCAA’s commitment to cleaning up the game and making sweeping changes. To that end, Condeleeza Rice is currently chairing the independent Commission on College Basketball to provide recommendations to the sport’s governing body.