NCAA ruled UM's Dewan Hernandez was ineligible for remainder of this season and early portion of 2019-20.
The FBI Fallout for Players
Investigation has seen many players to leave school
After months of inactivity, the federal college basketball scandal appears to be gaining momentum as individual cases are being settled and the NCAA has begun to wield its power.
While there have been rumblings of late, to what degree the scandal ultimately rocks the foundation of the sport is yet to be determined.
The NCAA ruled last week that Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa, a valuable reserve on last season’s Final Four team, is ineligible through the 2019-20 season because his guardian accepted $2,500 from former Adidas consultant T.J. Gassnola.
Yahoo Sports reported that the NCAA has started investigating Arizona and coach Sean Miller, which has been in the bullseye since the FBI first announced its investigation in September, 2017. In January, former Arizona assistant Emanuel “Book” Richardson became the second implicated college assistant to accept a deal, pleading guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to commit bribery. He was accused of accepting $20,000 in bribes to steer recruits toward potential managers and financial advisors after they turned pro.
An ESPN report in Jan. 2018, claimed Miller had an FBI wiretapped conversation with Christian Dawkins, who is a former associate at ASM Sports agency. Dawkins worked to recruit athletes as clients and the FBI charged him with funneling money from high school agents to their families and bribing college coaches. He’s awaiting trial. The player Dawkins and Miller allegedly discussed was DeAndre Ayton, a 5-star center who played the 2017-18 season at Arizona and was the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft last June, selected by the Phoenix Suns. Ayton is averaging 16.3 points and 10.6 rebounds for the Suns and is a strong contender for the NBA Rookie of the Year.
Many other players who were named directly in the initial report by the FBI or mentioned in either subsequent testimony or published reports have also moved on to the NBA. Here’s a list of the players named at some point, any penalty or suspension they may have suffered and their current whereabouts, as well as other relevant information pertaining to the ongoing investigation and a scandal whose impact could be felt from the sunny sea of Southern California to the wheatfields of Kansas to the Carolinas pines before it reaches resolution.
Austin Wiley, Auburn - Missed all of the 2017-18 season. Returned opening day in 2018-19. Averaging 10.8 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, playing 17.4 minutes per game for Tigers, who are 15-6 overall and 4-4 in the SEC through Feb. 4th.
Danjel Purifoy, Auburn - Missed all of the 2017-18 season and the first 30 percent of 2018-19, returning to the court Dec. 15th against UAB. Averaging 3.1 ppg in nine mpg.
After leading Auburn to the SEC regular season title, coach Bruce Pearl a five-year, $14 million contract extension during the offseason. Former Auburn assistant Chuck Person, who was fired in the wake of the scandal, is scheduled to go to trial in June for soliciting and accepting $91,500 from a undercover witness to influence Auburn players to sign with specific advisers and managers.
Brian Bowen, Louisville - Never played for U of L, which dismissed coach Rick Pitino for his role in Bowen’s recruitment. Transferred to South Carolina, but never played, declaring instead for 2018 NBA Draft where he wasn’t selected. Averaging 6.3 ppg and 2.9 rpg in 15 mpg for Sydney (Australia) Kings. Several NBA mock drafts project him as a mid-to-late 2nd round pick in 2019.
De’Anthony Melton, Southern Cal - Missed 2017-18 season after he was implicated in FBI investigation, which led to dismissal of assistant coach Tony Bland, who plead guilty to bribery in Jan. 2019. The Houston Rockets selected Melton with the 46th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and traded him to Phoenix, where he’s started 25 games and averaged 5.5 ppg in 25 mpg.
With five players signed, coach Andy Enfield’s 2019 recruiting class is currently ranked No. 4 in the nation.
Dewan Hernandez, Miami - Averaged 11.4 ppg and 6.8 rpg for Hurricanes in 2017. Held out for 2018-19 season as NCAA investigated. They ruled in January he was also ineligible for remainder of this season and early portion of 2019-20. Hernandez dropped out of school to prepare for 2019 NBA Draft.
Miami coach Jim Larranaga agreed to a two-year extension in April which keeps him under contract as the Hurricanes leader through 2023-24.
Jeffrey Carroll, Oklahoma State - Missed the first three games of 2017-18 season. Signed free agent contract with Los Angeles Lakers in June and is playing for their affiliate in the G League.
On Jan. 31st, former Oklahoma State assistant Lamont Evans pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy bribery charge that he accepted $22,000 to steer players to specific financial advisers for their professional career.
The following players were mentioned briefly in a Yahoo! Report last spring as having met with agents or representatives of agents: Miles Bridges, Michigan State (NBA); Wendell Carter, Duke (NBA), Nassir Little, North Carolina; Dennis Smith Jr., N.C. State (NBA); Collin Sexton, Alabama (NBA); Kevin Knox, Kentucky (NBA); Chimezie Metu, Southern Cal (NBA); Bennie Boatwright, Southern Cal; Eric Davis, Texas (left school); Malik Pope, San Diego State (G League).
In April, the College Basketball Commission, headed by former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, handed down a slew of recommendations including an overhaul of the current recruiting calendar, which has received negative feedback from most college coaches, high school coaches, AAU coaches and recruiting experts.
The Commission’s other recommendations include eliminating the “one-and-done” rule, which requires players to be one year removed from their high school graduation class; allowing college players who enter the NBA Draft but aren’t drafted to retain their college eligibility; allowing college players to work with agents to better understand their professional prospects; and an overhaul of how the NCAA handles “serious and complex” infractions cases.
NCAA president Mark Emmert said in December 2018 that major penalties to coaches and schools involved in the scandal would not be handed out until after the 2019 Final Four.