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Breaking down Yahoo’s FBI story involving Nerlens, Bam, and Knox

Waking up to the news that three Kentucky players were listed in documents obtained by the FBI was jarring to say the least, but after a deep breath and an hour to digest the story, I’m not nearly as panicked as I was when my phone went off this morning. Let’s break down the facts of what has been released and what to focus on going forward.

The facts

Nerlens Noel, Bam Adebayo, and Kevin Knox are all listed on financial documents from ASM Sports (Andy Miller’s agency).

  • Nerlens, who briefly employed Miller as his agent,  is listed as taking a $4,350 loan
  • Bam is listed as taking a $12,500 loan, but did not sign with ASM. In a separate document, he is listed as being a “bad loan” with a $36,500 monetary amount.
  • Kevin Knox is one of several players listed on an expense report as meeting or having a meal with former ASM associate Christian Dawkins.

The immediate concern is Knox

It’s important to point out that players are allowed to meet with agents; however, they are not allowed to accept money from them or have those agents pay for their meals. Yahoo did not post the actual expense report from Dawkins listing Knox, so it’s unclear who paid. If Knox did let Dawkins buy him a meal, it’s a violation and he could repay it and regain his eligibility; however, no one knows how the NCAA will handle any of this. Also, did UK already know about this, and if so, did they disclose it to the NCAA before the season began?

The big question now becomes…

Will Knox play tomorrow?

If he does, UK must be confident everything checks out. If not, there may be something there.

Bam’s involvement is by far the worst

According to these documents, Bam accepted either $12,500 or $36,500 from ASM, which was by their description a “bad loan” because he didn’t sign with the agency. Obviously, this is a way bigger deal than Knox having a meal with Christian Dawkins. The timeline becomes very important here. Bam’s $12,500 loan is listed on a balance sheet from December 31, 2015, so after he signed Kentucky (November 18, 2015). Did the payments come before or after that? If after, maybe it’s a good thing Luke Maye hit that shot.

Nerlens’ loan is the least of our worries

Nerlens was also listed on the December 31, 2015 balance sheet as taking a $4,350 loan from ASM, but Miller was his agent from June 2013 – December 2016. A professional player taking a loan from his agent is the least of Kentucky’ worries right now.

A rundown of players from other major programs

It’s definitely not just Kentucky:

  • Dennis Smith, NC State – $43,500 loan, total of $73,500
  • Markelle Fultz, Washington, $10,000 loan
  • Miles Bridges – no specific amount, but per expense reports, “hundreds of dollars in advances”
  • PJ Dozier, South Carolina – at least $6,115
  • Josh Jackson, Kansas – $2,700
  • Wendell Carter, Duke – Met or had meals with Dawkins
  • Collin Sexton, Alabama – Met or had meals with Dawkins
  • Tony Bradley, North Carolina – Met or had meals with Dawkins

There are so many more.

No players from the 2011, 2012, 2014, or 2015 teams are listed

Which means for now, the banners are safe.

John Calipari is scheduled to talk to the media today

Calipari was scheduled to meet with reporters at 2:15 p.m. to preview tomorrow’s game vs. Missouri. That has yet to be confirmed this morning, but knowing Cal, I expect it will. Select players were scheduled to meet with the media at 1:45 p.m., but given this morning’s news, I doubt that happens.

UPDATE: John Calipari will address the media at 2:45 p.m. As expected, players will not be available for interviews.


Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

60 Comments for Breaking down Yahoo’s FBI story involving Nerlens, Bam, and Knox

  1. JTHinton
    9:53 am February 23, 2018 Permalink

    I blame John Higgins

    • Bull Filmer
      6:07 am February 24, 2018 Permalink

      There are many illegitimate roofers. Ditto for refs. The guy is clearly biased and should be precluded from officiating KENTUCKY games. Similarly, former dook players or graduates in the media should be precluded from broadcasting dook games on major media outlets. Bias in both areas is unwelcome.

  2. Kindergarten Cop
    9:53 am February 23, 2018 Permalink

    Here’s what I don’t understand. Don’t they have to have proof? I mean a spreadsheet with players names on them that says they took out loans isn’t really proof. I could do that on my computer. Doesn’t there have to be wiretaps and people telling on people. I wouldn’t think this should be a big deal.

    • ukjaybrat
      10:02 am February 23, 2018 Permalink

      they didn’t have any proof to take memphis’s banner down.

    • 4everUKblue
      2:13 pm February 23, 2018 Permalink

      There was nothing connecting Cal to UMass of Memphis but they still took his victories. That’s why I believe Cal would never do anything to tarnish his or our reps because we all know they’re out to get him.

    • runningunnin.454
      10:02 am February 24, 2018 Permalink

      UMass and Memphis were shafted; could you put a lock on Camby’s door…fire marshal wouldn’t like that.
      Was Cal supposed to proctor Rose’s SAT exam 500 miles away…LOL. The joke there is that the NCAA said Rose was academically ineligible…but they couldn’t rule on UNCheat.
      Fact is, the NCAA selectively enforces rules and levies punishment.

    • antiquefurnitureandmidgets
      10:55 am February 24, 2018 Permalink

      Wasn’t that because Rose refused to talk with investigators? If memory serves anyway.

  3. RealCatsFan
    10:08 am February 23, 2018 Permalink

    Couldn’t Bam claim that he paid the agent back in cash? Then it’s a he said/she said thing.

    • pancakesfordinner
      2:10 am February 24, 2018 Permalink

      Absolutely he could, but considering the issue is GETTING a loan not whether or not he paid it back, that would be a horrible idea. Agents can’t give loans to college players, so if he admits that he received one, last season is wiped out immediately.

  4. Catsfan1715
    10:09 am February 23, 2018 Permalink

    If Knox plays tomorrow, then he most likely was/is cleared. Nerlens was already a pro at the time, NIT year, small amount-not worried about that one. Bam, definitely need to hear/see more evidence to prove the sheet was accurate but that one worries me. Everyone is gonna blast Cal and say he knew yada yada. Based on this I would say he absolutely did not. More will be revealed I’m sure. Fact is these are kids and some aren’t in the best situation on the verge of becoming millionaires-I don’t blame them. I blame the agents and the system which takes advantage of their bad situation in an effort to profit off of them.

    • Rembrandt
      12:11 pm February 23, 2018 Permalink

      I agree. UK will have to tip their hand on Knox in the next 24 hours. Cal won’t play Knox unless they are confident. If Knox plays, then everything is cool. Nerlens is not to worry. UK has been all-in on compliance since Todd and Mitch got here, so best guess is that Bam will turn out different than it might look now. We can fret, but some other schools have a whole lot more to explain than UK does. I keep thinking how Joe Pa had a long and distinguished career, only to go down in flames at the end. K and Miller could be headed down that same path now.

  5. BNClay
    10:09 am February 23, 2018 Permalink

    The balance sheet date is an “as of day”. So that means as of 12-31 Bam owed 12,500. So seems to me he or his family took a loan sometime prior to that. Web chatter is that it was a bribe to his friend to get him to commit to NC State and sign with ASM. He did neither. So some chance his friend took the cash but failed to get Bam to go along. But who knows. I would be very surprised if NCAA even pursued this. They don’t want to rock the cash boat this badly.

    • callitlikeiseeit
      12:53 am February 24, 2018 Permalink

      And why would Noel take a $4350 loan in Dec. 2015? He was a multi millionaire at that time.

    • ClutchCargo
      9:56 am February 24, 2018 Permalink

      callit – all it means is that that was the balance outstanding at the end of the day on 12/31/15. Just a WAG, but I would imagine the agent gave him a loan right after signing him as a client, and it just hadn’t been completely repaid on 12/31/15.

  6. MikesWay
    10:09 am February 23, 2018 Permalink

    Good breakdown, thanks.

  7. Biglaw Dawgin'
    10:10 am February 23, 2018 Permalink

    I just don’t see how a player taking out a loan is a big deal if there’s no requirement that they sign with the agent later and no requirement that they go to a certain school. Can’t a player get a loan from a bank based on future earning capacity? Isn’t that exactly what a student loan is: “Hey, we think you’re going to graduate med school and become a high-earning doctor one day, so we’ll give you $5,000 to live on while in now, and you pay us back with interest when you get a job.”

    • Catsfan1715
      10:12 am February 23, 2018 Permalink

      I see the logic. Problem is if the sole intent of the loan was to lure him to their agency then it’s technically a bribe and not as egregious as a flat out cash payment (if they paid it back) but still to the NCAA it doesn’t matter. They make their own judgement. And unfortunately we have coach Cal, not coach K or Roy so we won’t be getting the benefit of any doubts …

    • Biglaw Dawgin'
      10:21 am February 23, 2018 Permalink

      Well, the good news there is Duke is in the exact same boat with WC jr.

      But who cares if the money was not to go to a school, but was to lure him to the agency? It has nothing to do with UK. The only thing they could say about the school is that at the moment he took money, the player was no longer an amateur, but was a pro. But even that is a stretch because he wasn’t getting paid to play for UK, he was getting paid by someone to maybe use their business down the road. Even the IRS says a loan is not income, so I just don’t see how it’s an issue.

    • rabblerabblerabble
      11:20 am February 23, 2018 Permalink

      I think you’re understating the seriousness of the Bam allegations. If he took money before he suited up, he received an impermissible benefit and would be retroactively determined as ineligible (a la the Louisville stripper fiasco). If ineligible players play, those wins are vacated, whether one of those wins was a national title or not.

    • J-Dub421
      11:25 am February 23, 2018 Permalink

      Then why didn’t Duke vacate wins over Corey Maggette? He took money while in high school/AAU, admitted it, and……. nothing.

  8. Le Docteur
    10:13 am February 23, 2018 Permalink

    Mrs TT, this is a very good analysis of the situation. Well done. Given the cesspool culture of college sports, this could have been a lot worse. I think you’re correct that the risk with Knox is “does he have to pay back the cost of the meal.” Given that the agent’s office apparently was trying to get lunches with everyone that would eat with them, and it looks like a lot of guys did, my guess is the NCAA is going to be pretty forgiving because it’s not a lot of money. The Bam situation is a lot more serious. At some point, schools are going to have to start interrogating their own players and getting sworn statements from them denying any improper activity before they put them in a game. Maybe UK already does that. I hope so.

  9. Bluebloodtoo
    10:14 am February 23, 2018 Permalink

    If no Kentucky coaches are implicated, then it would seem that there is no connection to the school. That would seem to be an important distinction.

    • Biglaw Dawgin'
      10:16 am February 23, 2018 Permalink

      Exactly. Why would this be a violation for the school if the money were not a guarantee to go to the school or something like that? If the agent was a booster of a specific school, ok maybe, but that’s not the case.

  10. Biglaw Dawgin'
    10:14 am February 23, 2018 Permalink

    Also, the UL situation in the FBI probe is 1000x worse. There, the COACH was having a third-party pay a player to make sure he came to that particular SCHOOL. Here, there is no connection to the coach and the money had nothing to do with coming to the school. It was the individual player acting on his own.

    And not being allowed to have someone buy you lunch is almost as ridiculous as a cream-cheese bagel being an impermissible benefit.

  11. Howdy Doody
    10:15 am February 23, 2018 Permalink

    Yahoo looked at detailed expense reports, which are currently in the hands of the FBI.

    The reports are from former agent Andy Miller, his associate Christian Dawkins, and his agency, ASM Sports.

    Former Kentucky Wildcat Bam Adebayo is named on one balance sheet for the agency. It says the agency paid him $12,000 while he was still in high school and then gave him a loan for $36,500.

    The same balance sheet shows the agency gave former UK player Nerlens Noel a $4,350 loan.

    • Al B. Frank
      10:49 am February 23, 2018 Permalink

      Thanks for saying exactly what the article says.

    • UK Big Board Update
      11:15 am February 23, 2018 Permalink

      He’s so butthurt over his own program having their banner removed due to hookers. LMAO

    • Jester
      12:20 pm February 23, 2018 Permalink

      It pains me to say this, but I have to agree with UK Big Board Update.

    • Bull Filmer
      6:18 am February 24, 2018 Permalink

      BAM was in H.S.; Nerlens was already a pro and a client.

    • LexJim
      12:53 pm February 24, 2018 Permalink

      However, Nerlens loan was two years after he was at UK according to their balance sheet.

  12. joseph_daniel
    10:16 am February 23, 2018 Permalink

    Attention NCAA institutions and administration… The U.S. Government is broke and you are being shook down! Pay da man his money so we can go on with life and watch some good college basketball without this over everyone’s head. Pretty interesting that the main targets are on the Top 10 Forbes most profitable programs. KY just took over #1 in that list over Louisville. UNC, Texas, Duke, Zona, etc… following them. The details will get worse and worse until this is worked out with New Rome aka USA. So render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and quit making all the fans take the punch in the gut every time a detail drops.

    • DelrayCat
      10:25 am February 23, 2018 Permalink

      LOL…I also think there is a whiff of the pending case allowing sports book betting nationally at play here. Casino guys like Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn may have their greedy little fingers on the scale.

    • Jester
      12:14 pm February 23, 2018 Permalink

      Any particular reason you named those two instead of the Fertitta family who are more actively involved in the sports aspect or is it that Adelson and Wynn have more recognizable names?

    • D0nc0smic
      9:37 am February 24, 2018 Permalink

      They are also the two that are the most involved politically.

  13. Howdy Doody
    10:22 am February 23, 2018 Permalink

    If Adebayo’s eligibility was compromised, Kentucky could vacate last season’s Elite Eight run. That scenario would cost Calipari victories earned on the court due to NCAA violations at a third institution, joining Memphis (Derrick Rose) and UMass (Marcus Camby).

    • Smyrna_Cat
      10:29 am February 23, 2018 Permalink

      Thank you again, Doodle. Did you cut and paste this? And given this logic, won’t UCLA lose ALL of their victories and titles for paying players??

    • Booby Petrino
      10:44 am February 23, 2018 Permalink

      keep hoping, dirty turd fan. we’ll be fine!

    • 4everUKblue
      4:30 am February 24, 2018 Permalink

      Doody, you probably don’t know this, because I doubt you can read, but Cal was never linked to either Rose or Camby. Too bad you attended UofLittleBro or you might have a functional brain.

  14. Sentient Third Eye
    10:29 am February 23, 2018 Permalink

    It seems the “running from a lion” principle applies (ie. You don’t have to outrun the lion; you just have to outrun the other guy). We don’t have to be spotless to escape this; we just have to be no more guilty than Duke or UNC. By that standard, we are probably okay. Not even the NCAA can punish UK and let one of their Favored Institutions off during the same investigation.

    • ukcamel
      10:43 am February 23, 2018 Permalink

      Never underestimate their ability to torture facts to punish us (and others) while letting Duke and UNC skate.

  15. chris47601
    10:31 am February 23, 2018 Permalink

    Here’s the thing guys… this is ONE….. ONE AGENCY…. out of how many? There is a vile, filthy, laundry list of players going back nearly 100 years with any number of agents, bookies, agencies, etc. I’ve been trying to tell everyone… THEY ARE ALL DIRTY. Stop being so sanctimonious about your favorite program. It is all a sham. It is professional amateurism at it’s finest. Deal with it.

    Somewhere hiding in a desk is a sheet with Anthony Davis, Rashaad McCants, John Wall, Corey Maggette, and MANY, MANY more on it

    • Jester
      12:17 pm February 23, 2018 Permalink

      There’s this thing called “proof.” Without it you don’t have much of a case, you instead have an allegation. “If you didn’t write it down, it didn’t happen.”

      Let’s see the proof before we declare all players dirty, or even better, let’s get real and say “who gives a shit?” Let them play, let them make money, let the school with the best financial incentives get the best players.

  16. catsarerunnin
    10:37 am February 23, 2018 Permalink

    UNC and Duke won’t be touched as usual. But there will be the usual fall guy so I’m preparing myself for the worst.

  17. UK_fac_boi
    10:44 am February 23, 2018 Permalink

    Hey KSR, Can I still get one of those “our banners stay up” shirts? Hahaha

    • Al B. Frank
      10:51 am February 23, 2018 Permalink

      I don’t see why not. What banner do you think is in jeopardy?

    • ClutchCargo
      10:02 am February 24, 2018 Permalink

      Yes, you can still get a shirt, but it won’t bring back your vacated banner to the Yum! Center.

  18. BleedingBlue1996
    10:49 am February 23, 2018 Permalink

    Agree with chris47601. Nothing above board about anything the NCAA has. All corrupt.

  19. Sentient Third Eye
    11:00 am February 23, 2018 Permalink

    And keep in mind that this is coming from an American media outlet (Yahoo Sports in this case), so it only has a 25% chance at best of being accurate to begin with…

    • Jester
      12:19 pm February 23, 2018 Permalink

      No doubt haha. Before it’s all said and done, Trump and the russians will be responsible for all of this.

  20. Aar
    2:40 pm February 23, 2018 Permalink

    If this is as big as all that (50+ D1 schools involved), I suspect there will be a “Truth and Reconciliation Commission”. By that, I mean that some people will be empaneled to investigate. All implicated people and institutions will have the opportunity to come forward and tell everything they know in exchange for immunity from any penalties. Then rules will be put in place going forward that help people comply with the new laws and new rules.

    In my wildest dreams the exceptions to immunity will be academic cheaters and programs that use strippers to recruit. That’s just BBN centric wishful thinking under the optimistic assumption that UK men’s basketball did neither of those things.

    Anyway, the reason I suspect this, is that an argument can be made (winning or not, it’s a viable argument) that illegal activities are so widespread that they are standard business practices within the top level college basketball industry. A follow on argument is that when standard business practices become illegal, the problem is the rules, not necessarily the business practices (i.e. the argument would be that NCAA rules “forced” people to break the law). Thus, the rules need to be changed, harsher penalties put in place, strong policing introduced and past offenders allowed to continue functioning without penalty. Truth and reconciliation commissions have been done before both inside and outside sports. College basketball is at the point at which it may be necessary.

    The good thing is that the “Condoleezza Rice Commission” is already in place. That commission could conclude their inquiry by recommending that a college basketball truth and reconciliation commission follow their work. Their charter could also be changed into a truth and reconciliation commission.

    For the good of all college basketball fan bases, I hope something like this occurs. If it doesn’t, the sport will lose fan interest in droves, myself included, because no big basketball school will go untouched by this mess. Loss of fan interest will dramatically change the economics of the multi-billion dollar college basketball industry and not for the better.

  21. BBNstrive49
    2:42 pm February 23, 2018 Permalink

    Did y’all really think nerlens really kept that flat top that fresh on his own

    • 4everUKblue
      4:07 am February 24, 2018 Permalink

      Strive you are in the race for the dumbest commenter on this site, keep it up and you can pass your BF BBNDude aka Slater.

    • Smyrna_Cat
      8:03 am February 24, 2018 Permalink

      How are you not banned?

  22. Bull Filmer
    6:11 am February 24, 2018 Permalink

    How could this have gotten past compliance director Sandy Bell?

  23. rartis1986
    8:24 am February 24, 2018 Permalink

    My question is if Knox got his lunch paid for, would that rule him ineligible up to the day he pays it back? If so would him paying it back retroactively reinstate his eligibility to the beginning of the season?

    • Jiminy Crickets
      9:10 am February 24, 2018 Permalink

      A player is ineligible from the moment it is discovered. Paying it back now would retain his eligibility. Collin sexton day out a game this year for this exact reason. Much of this yahoo report is old news

    • Trevor
      9:48 am February 24, 2018 Permalink

      The Knox deal is small potatoes (no pun intended). Remember, it was just a meal (if it even happened – his dad said it didn’t). I am assuming that it wasn’t a $1000 steak meal. He also has to just pay back his and his dads meal. He doesn’t have to pay back Miller’s meal. So if he pays back the maybe $200 or $300 he is good to go. Non issue. Knowing how Sandy Bell works and them being pro-active I’d say this is in the works already.

  24. Jimi40
    8:58 am February 24, 2018 Permalink

    All of this is VERY SUSPECT, the timing & the leaking.

    I mean didn’t Willie & BAM just visit UK a week or so ago. Hell, BAM was the Y at the Alabama game!

    Then BAM makes a statement saying “The truth will come out in the end”?

    Who would have the courage to show up at their former University, talk to the current players as an example of what happens when you do things right, be praised by all, honored on the court & all the while, your keeping a secret that could directly have a negative effect on said University.

    Something smells very funny…….