Indiana, Michigan State, Louisville, Kansas, and (more) Arizona, come on down!
Yahoo! Sports released another report late last night involving recovered emails in the FBI scandal, with the fascinating recruitment of five-star Brian Bowen being heavily discussed.
Christian Dawkins, one of the central figures in this FBI investigation, reportedly “dangled” Bowen, among other prospects, to various teams and coaches. In fact, Bowen was used as “trade bait” to steer talented recruits/players on the team to ASM Sports.
Two of the assistant coaches named in the emails: Dwayne Stephens of Michigan State and Chuck Martin, formerly of Indiana, and currently with South Carolina.
Dawkins, 24, provides a roadmap for the quid-pro-quo relationship between the agent world and college coaches. He dangles a high school prospect – five-star recruit Brian Bowen – as potential trade bait for schools to steer their best players to ASM Sports. On the same July day, Dawkins wrote to Miller that he connected with two Big Ten assistants, Dwayne Stephens of Michigan State and Chuck Martin, formerly of Indiana.
“Dwayne Stephens – Trying to close the deal on Brian Bowen for Michigan State. Trying to do a trade deal for (Spartans) Gary Harris, Miles Bridges, etc”
“Chuck Martin – Trying to close the deal on Brian Bowen for Indiana. I told him if we can work together and if he can push for us to get (Hoosiers) Thomas Bryant and OG Anunoby two projected first rounders from IU this year we can work something out.”
Arizona also reportedly got in on the Bowen action, adding to their $100K payment for DeAndre Ayton.
“Now I can’t promise that this kid that they want [Bowen] is going to Arizona, but Joe told me verbatim he will help us get all the Arizona players so put his feet to the fire.”
After all parties talked, Louisville was declared the winner, and the end of the Rick Pitino era came.
Dawkins ran the recruitment of Bowen, the decorated high school recruit who turned up in one of the U.S. Attorney’s criminal complaints as being allegedly sold to Louisville, via Adidas, for a six-figure payment. (That revelation led to the firing of Louisville coach Rick Pitino.)
After Bowen signed with Louisville last summer, Rick Pitino oddly told Terry Meiners that he spent “zero dollars” on Bowen and that in 40 years of coaching, it was the “luckiest” he had ever been.
“We got lucky on this one,” Pitino told Terry Meiners. “I had an AAU director call me and ask me if I’d be interested in a player (Bowen) I saw him against another great player from Indiana. I said ‘Yeah, I’d be really interested.’ They had to come in unofficially, pay for their hotel, pay for their meals. We spent zero dollars recruiting a five-star athlete who I loved when I say him play. In my 40 years of coaching this is the luckiest I’ve been.”
Now we know, in essence, Michigan State, Indiana, Arizona, Louisville and others were in a bidding war for the five-star athlete.
Interestingly enough, Chuck Martin, the Indiana assistant involved in the original set of emails, ended up at South Carolina following the scandal… the same place Bowen ended up after leaving Louisville… Hmm…
Arizona also jumped in the action AGAIN, including players such as Rawle Alkins and Lauri Markkanen, to go with DeAndre Ayton and Brian Bowen.
The emails illustrate how Dawkins attempted to manipulate a powerful collegiate program like Arizona and how the client recruitment dance plays out in the recruiting world.
Dawkins, 24, who has no formal college education and was in his early 20s at the time, slowly accumulated power with the Arizona staff to the point where he’s heard on federal wiretaps saying he can attend Arizona practices “like I’m on the team.”
There are more Arizona mentions in Dawkins’ emails on Aug. 18 in reference to former Wildcats assistant Emanuel “Book” Richardson.
Dawkins writes to Andy Miller and others: “coach book from Arizona called me and basically told me he wants me to take [current Arizona guard] rawle alkins. He said he is picking the agent, period….What’s your position on the situation?”
He goes on to encourage Vye, a veteran ASM agent, to build a relationship with Markkanen’s father. “Arizona will do pretty much whatever we ask of them right now, until my kid decides on a school.”
We’ve been waiting for Kansas’ involvement to come out since news broke back in September. Josh Jackson was listed on the leaked document yesterday morning for receiving a loan of $2,700. In the latest Yahoo! emails, Jackson’s mother, Apples Jones, was getting $10,000 a month from Under Armour, on top of the payments from Adidas.
In the same email, Dawkins summarized a meeting with Apples Jones, the mother of Kansas’ Josh Jackson and a self-styled AAU entrepreneur: “His situation is going to get done at the very end. UA is giving her 10k a month and she’s also getting paid by adidas now — so she’s plenty taken care of.
Washington’s Markelle Fultz, Michigan State’s Miles Bridges, Clemson’s Jaron Blossomgame, Xavier’s Edmond Sumner, and Iowa State’s Monte Morris were all also included in the emails and the complete report, which can be read in its entirety here.
Most importantly, Kentucky wasn’t named in the latest breaking news at all.