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FBI now turning its sights to Nike’s EYBL

After raiding the office of top agent Andy Miller and ASM Sports yesterday, the FBI is now turning its sights to the biggest cesspool of all: AAU basketball.

According to Darren Heitner, the FBI has subpoenaed employees of Nike’s EYBL grassroots division, along with documents, meaning the entire system could soon collapse. I’m sure adidas Uprising and Under Armour’s circuits are next. Three of the schools mentioned in the FBI’s probe are Nike schools: Southern Cal, Oklahoma State, and Arizona. Louisville and Miami are adidas, and Auburn is Under Armour.

Far from over, guys.

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.

68 Comments for FBI now turning its sights to Nike’s EYBL

  1. KYcats11
    1:57 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

    This is CRAZINESS

  2. tree_gardener
    1:58 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

    Uh oh

  3. Duuuuuude
    2:01 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

    Its about damn time!

  4. ClutchCargo
    2:06 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

    If we had just about any coach other than Cal, I would be worried about Nike being pulled into this. Cal is pulling in a crazy amount of talent, but doing it the smart way. Let the NBA be the one writing the checks – after the kids leave school. Not worried at all. And if by some chance we are cheating, we deserve to get smacked

  5. lexslamman
    2:08 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

    Other shoe is dropping. I have a hunch that Kentucky will not be implicated, but we’ll see. People seem to feel like there’s a lot of smoke around the UK recruiting process, but I’m not sure they’re correct. Seems like of all the coaches out there, Calipari has endeavored to be the most ridiculously outspoken and open about what’s going on in his program, but it’s always possible, however unlikely, that he’s “hiding in plain sight.”

    • Sentient Third Eye
      2:28 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

      To be honest, ESPN treats Cal like CNN treats Trump. If they had even an inkling of something, factual or otherwise, they would be talking about it right now.

    • jomani
      2:38 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

      Sentient are you forgetting the part where ESPN made a movie about Cal that basically makes him look like Jesus, every game we play is in primetime on ESPN, and everytime we get a recruit it makes the front page of the website. They love him and UK

    • Sentient Third Eye
      2:45 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

      I think it’s the old media “build ’em up to tear ’em down” cycle. Remember how CNN helped build Trump up so they could then attack him and keep their ratings inflated? ESPN has tried that many times with Cal. It’s an old tactic that has been used in journalism for many decades. There’s another industry the FBI should be looking at.

    • Jester
      3:01 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

      Good call, Sentient Third Eye. Accurate comparison.

      Everyone knows UK is the favorite target of any smear by sports media or the NCAA. It’s our cross to bear for being the best of the best.

    • timbo
      3:17 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

      I hope so. I consider most of the kids that have come through to be solid young men (admittedly, based on how little I actually know them personally). KAT? AD? You want me to believe those guys were demanding money from a school? No way. Too smart, only had to wait 300 more days or so to get paid. Maybe I’m optimistic, but I prefer that to the cynicism of “everybody does it”. I think you have to be greedy or desperate to demand money from the school. It clearly wasn’t so easy for Bowden to get, or his letter would have come much sooner, right?

    • bigb
      8:00 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

      Cal has been investigated more than the Clinton’s, like you I think UK is clean, or he would have been found out before now

  6. Rise
    2:08 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

    Every relevant school is involved in this, not only basketball but football as well. I enjoy seeing the fall of Louisville but I knew this was not over by a long shot. Several more schools are involved and it is only a matter of time before UK ends up on the list. Everyone knows William Wesley is funneling recruits to schools with the help from Nike and UK is his favorite. If UK is involved I would hope we get punished as well. The corruption in sports needs to be stopped. Somehow Duke will remain innocent, as always.

    • Sentient Third Eye
      2:11 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

      If that happened, it would spoil the humor of the past 24 hours.

    • Bobbum Man
      2:12 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

      Shouldn’t you be checking on your interim coach search?

    • lexslamman
      2:19 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

      I don’t know about that. U.K. has the toughest compliance folks in the business and has lived under the NCAA microscope for the past 68 years… and especially the past 30. People forget that we’re literally one of the reason’s that the NCAA has an enforcement department.

    • crazycatfan65
      2:21 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

      Word Wide Wes is also good friends with Coach K and there has been rumors that he has also helped steer some recruits to dUKe. I just hope we aren’t involved with this scandal at all. Andy Miller’s office was raided yesterday by the FBI and his computer was seized. Remember he had connection to M Teague if I remember right.

    • 4everUKblue
      2:35 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

      Lexslamman is right, NO school is under tougher scrutiny than UK, if there was anything to find they would be shouting it from the mountaintop.

  7. mmmbert
    2:11 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

    I remember saying things similar to this in the 70’s and 80’s, dismissing all the talk as just jealousy. Then came the Emery envelope.

    I hope you are right.

    • Booby Petrino
      2:41 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

      dang you’re old. but at least your memory still works.

    • mmmbert
      3:26 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

      That’s not the only thing that still works.

    • RealCatsFan
      3:28 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

      Emery envelope was a plant by a west coach school that wanted Mills. Yes, we had stuff going on, but you are never going to convince me that one of those packages just “pops open”. If UK has something going on and gets punished for it, they damn well better go after Duke and UNC as well.

    • RealCatsFan
      3:29 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

      And glad to hear that your hearing still works as well.

    • mmmbert
      4:12 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

      What did you say? Speak up.

    • wesmorgan1
      10:25 am September 28, 2017 Permalink

      You mean the Emery envelope that was never captured in a photograph or shown to anyone?

      …as in the package that led Emery Air Freight to settle the defamation lawsuit from Dwane Casey instead of actually having its employees testify under oath?

      …as in the package that led to a three-year ‘show cause’ order against Casey…that the NCAA quietly dismissed a year later, after Emery’s settlement made it clear that there was no real evidence?

    2:16 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

    Question for everyone. Could we see all of these colleges and universities create their own league and leave the NCAA to get out of trouble. Obviously not out of legal trouble.

    • Sentient Third Eye
      2:23 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

      I think this does illustrate difference between an NCAA investigation and a federal investigation. The federal government is one of the most inefficient, slow entities in existence, and the NCAA makes it look like a well-oiled machine! To me, that proves the NCAA is not capable of enforcement at all, so there needs to be another mechanism for that. What they have right now is totally unworkable. Maybe that’s a reason for the NCAA as it currently exists to end?

    • halobrad
      2:24 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

      That’s what the NCAA is…a league created by its member schools.

    • lexslamman
      2:31 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

      It’s kind of funny – you can run amok of NCAA rules all you want and not get into any trouble if the NCAA is negligent in its enforcement duties, just as long as you don’t lie about it or cover it up in documentation/communications. Fraud, especially wire fraud, is becoming a “Capone” charge that the DOJ and SEC are using to enforce certain financial and securities rules. Also note that this case started when a financial advisor was nailed by the SEC and turned state’s witness.

      I’m many miles and degrees of separation from the basketball program, at this point moreso than I have ever been in my life, but I don’t get the sense that this kind of activity is occurring at UK. If there is a crime or violation that the program is nailed for as this scandal unfolds, it will probably be something very different.

    • wesmorgan1
      10:36 am September 28, 2017 Permalink

      Sentient, there’s a distinction to be made between “inefficient and slow-moving” and “deliberate”.

      Look at it this way: When you have to go before a judge and get a warrant, you’d BETTER have all your ducks in a row before you start that process.

      So, if you suspect that an incident has far-reaching consequences and may lead to quite a bit more than the original incident itself, you play it slow – you recruit informants, you let things run their course, and you get all your ducks in a row. Then, when either (a) you think you’ve gone as far as you can without tipping your hand, or (b) it becomes apparent that something really BAD will happen if you don’t take action NOW…you go to the judge and/or grand jury. (I’ve sat on grand juries several times; even in my rural area, we didn’t hesitate to reject a prosecutor’s case if their evidence was flimsy.)

      I mean, it wasn’t as if these clowns had weekly meetings – “10:00am-11:00am: Weekly Recruit Bribery Call” – so, yeah, it took months to build the case beyond the original incident that came to the FBI’s attention.

      According to some radio discussion I heard yesterday, this actually began more than a year ago, with a securities fraud investigation by the SEC; as that investigation revealed other issues, those issues were sent over to the FBI.

      Sometimes, these things just take time.

  9. Biglaw Dawgin'
    2:19 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

    Yeah, that’s what a lot of us have been saying. Let’s stop throwing stones until we make sure our own house isn’t made of glass.

  10. Bob Sacamono
    2:21 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

    Merl Code Jr obviously spent all day yesterday talking into the Fed’s tape recorder.

  11. secrick
    2:23 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

    I’m calling BS on this. It took them 3 years to catch these guys and now they are telling you they are starting an investigation. BS

    • Mathlete
      2:40 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

      The feds don’t start talking about how they’re investigating you until they already have you dead to rights and want something from you.

  12. 4everUKblue
    2:32 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink


  13. Realme
    2:43 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

    I get why U6 fans try to deflect their cheating onto us, it’s just force of habit. What I don’t get is Kentucky fans leaping to wild conclusions. Our staff has never given us a reason to doubt them or the integrity of our program. Stop borrowing trouble.

    • secrick
      3:13 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

      Juice fruit

    • Bluebloodtoo
      12:53 am September 28, 2017 Permalink

      Seriously…wth does that mean?

  14. crystal_blue_persuasion
    2:45 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

    I really don’t think there will be more uncovered as far as the FBI is concerned. The information they dropped yesterday was the product of a 3 year investigation that started because a financial adviser was crooked and just happened to have links to Adidas. If they were going after Nike and Under Armour they would have done that already before anyone knew what was going on. Very doubtful that anyone is going to spill their guts now about wrongdoing elsewhere without the video and audio evidence they were able to obtain with Adidas.

    • Mathlete
      3:02 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

      One of the guys they arrested is an ex-Nike guy. Now that they have their hooks in him, they’re going to keep reeling in the info

    • timbo
      3:23 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

      Now you see they are, right? They have guys facing 80 years who are going to be willing to talk about their bathroom habits and sexcapades in order to avoid that kind of time.

    • wesmorgan1
      10:42 am September 28, 2017 Permalink

      Never underestimate the fear/guilt factor when it comes to this stuff.

      In the press conference, the FBI spokesperson said:

      “We have your playbook. The investigation is ongoing. […] If you are involved in this, call us. […] It will be better for you to call us than for us to call you.”

      What they’re really saying is “now that we see the pattern used for this stuff, we can go back and look for that pattern pretty much anywhere – so the stuff you did [X] years ago is no longer ‘water under the bridge.'”

      I’m guessing that will trigger at least a few calls to the tip line the FBI established for this case.

  15. Sentient Third Eye
    3:03 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

    At this rate, by next week Keds and Russell Athletics will be the powers in the industry…

  16. HeshimuMeansWarrior
    3:25 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

    Bowen played in the EYBL circuit. Also, Merl Code (Adidas employee arrested yesterday) worked for Nike up until about 3-4 years ago.

  17. J-Dub421
    3:47 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

    If Coach Cal isn’t worried, then neither am I. Cal is out recruiting, coaching the congressional charity game, and tweeting pictures of the madness campout. He doesn’t seem worried at all. The NCAA and most sports journalists have been foaming at the mouth to catch Cal/UK ridin’ dirty for years. If there was even a whiff that we were involved it would already be front page news. They have nothing. If however, Cal/Barnhart/Capilouto start running damage control, THEN I will be concerned. Until that happens, I’ll just sit back with my popcorn and enjoy the show.

  18. Mathlete
    3:49 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

    My consolation on the EYBL investigation is that we don’t *need* to pay players to come here, so if a kid starts holding out his hand for some under the table stuff we can just “lose interest” and move on with no problems

    • ClutchCargo
      4:16 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

      ^ Accurate

    • chief_cat
      4:41 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

      Yep. Makes me think back to some of the players we thought for sure would sign here, but didn’t. It didn’t make sense at the time. Now you wonder if perhaps there were shenanigans involved which led to signing somewhere else. Perhaps this was a tell-tale sign that something afoul was going on and, in fact, was a blessing in disguise – we recruit based on success, some competitors recruit with a truckload of cash.

    • chris47601
      5:48 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

      It isn’t necessarily the programs paying players. In fact, it’s frequently not, although the programs have someone “inside” that is aware.

      Someone in UK AD knows that players are getting rewards. Mark it down. And it is happening at Duke, UNC, Kansas, – you name it… it’s happening. People are finally gonna wake up, not by choice, but because the are getting slapped upside the damn head.

    • chris47601
      5:54 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

      My consolation is that this is widespread and commonplace. EVERYONE is guilty, and with a little nudge, the NCAA will close shop and we can start anew.

  19. DennyC
    4:58 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

    Teague was all but signed with Louisville before a last Minute “change of heart”. He was involved with the Nike guy whose computer got confiscated last night. Hold your breath. . .

    • J-Dub421
      8:59 am September 28, 2017 Permalink

      Card troll, go worry about your own program. It’s burning.

  20. chris47601
    5:45 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

    Everyone dogging Pitino will be praising Cal if a UK recruit is implicated but Cal is not mentioned.

    I’m a Cats fan for life, and I am a Cal fan.

    BUT, I said it years ago to my U:/IU/UNC/Duke friends. Everyone is dirty in some way, shape, or fashion. EVERYONE. Sonny Vaccaro? He might as well be World Wide Wes. Say what you want, but money is being funneled to these kids, whether the HC is complicit or not. The minute it happens, the HC and the school are guilty. Period.

    If anything, this should be reason to end the NCAA and start over.

  21. chris47601
    5:53 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

    Where does anyone see the FBI saying they are just now starting an investigation into Nike? Arizona and USC are Nike schools folks. GUILTY. Auburn is Under Armor. GUILTY.

    This wasn’t just Adidas. This was just the beginning. The tweet says these subpoena’s are FURTHERING the investigation. They are going to pressure middlemen by leaning on them now that people have been arrested and the threat is real. ANY OF THOSE middlemen will turn in a heartbeat if they know anything.

    Deny all you want, this is about to get real.

    Here is the quoted tweet:

    “Sources: Employees of Nike’s EYBL grassroots division, along with documents, have been subpoenaed by FBI in furtherance of investigation”

    • Jester
      6:31 pm September 27, 2017 Permalink

      Like I’ve said before, I’d be shocked if UK was involved. As stupid as the FBI is in general, they wouldn’t tip their hand like this if they had a big fish like UK on the line.

  22. Bluebloodtoo
    12:46 am September 28, 2017 Permalink

    Didn’t UCLA just become relevant in recruiting and winning a few years back? Didn’t they just recently sign with Adidas? Wasn’t it an Adidas event that was giving preferential treatment to crazy Lavar Ball? I’m not sayin…well…maybe.

    • Bluebloodtoo
      12:59 am September 28, 2017 Permalink

      Darn facts! It was under armour they signed with. It’s not like they signed the biggest deal ever or anything.