New details have emerged regarding Bam Adebayo’s alleged encounter(s) with a sports agent while Adebayo was still an amateur, and they include a receipt from everyone’s favorite chain fondue restaurant, The Melting Pot.
In a new report from Yahoo! released overnight, we learn Adebayo is alleged to have had dinner with Stephen Pina, an agent from ASM Sports; and Eric Peartree, the shady figure who once played the role of guardian and mentor in Adebayo’s life, prior to Adebayo’s move to Kentucky. The dinner occurred at The Melting Pot’s Charlottesville, Va. location, following a day at the NBA Players Association’s Top 100 Camp back in the summer before Adebayo’s senior season of high school.
According to the dinner receipt presented in the report, each of the three men had the “summer catch” for $21.99 a plate, one side of the crab snow claws for the table, and one cranberry juice. Their bill came to $89.68, on which they left an $18.00 tip to bring it to $107.68, which is well beneath the NCAA’s “payback” threshold of $200.
Yahoo!’s reporters on the story — Pat Forde (of course), Pete Thamel (of course) and Dan Wetzel — then acknowledge the dinner is “insignificant,” although it is part of a bigger problem for amateurism:
The significance of this meeting is how seemingly insignificant it was. It was dinner; a good dinner, but not some glitzy wining and dining. There is no evidence of bags of cash or new cars or anything you might see in a movie. There is no suggestion Pina was steering Adebayo to any school (he was uncommitted at the time but later attended the University of Kentucky for the 2016-17 season before becoming a first-round draft pick of the Miami Heat). Adebayo never even signed with ASM.
It reaffirms, however, the challenge for college sports leaders who are finally confronting the issue of how a young player’s free-market value runs counter to the NCAA’s standards of amateurism.
Bam Adebayo denies the meeting.
It’s also important to note that Adebayo dropped Eric Peartree from his life prior to college.
All things considered, Kentucky fans shouldn’t have any concerns about this being connected to the school in any way. If anything, we should be impressed that three people got out of The Melting Pot for under $100 before tip.