Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Maryland releases subpoenas for records in FBI hoops probe
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Maryland has joined the list of schools to receive a grand jury subpoena seeking records in the ongoing federal corruption investigation into college basketball.
The school released two subpoenas to The Associated Press and other media outlets Friday in response to public records requests. That follows North Carolina State’s release in March of a similar subpoena seeking communication records between school officials and its former coaching staff, and ex-Wolfpack guard Dennis Smith Jr. and his representatives.
A March subpoena to Maryland sought communications or any information regarding possible improper payments to a former Maryland player — the school redacted the name, citing federal privacy laws — or that player’s family. It also sought the personnel file of men’s basketball assistant coach Orlando “Bino” Ranson, as well as documents or communications regarding or involving Christian Dawkins — an agent runner and one of 10 men originally charged in the case last fall.
A June subpoena sought records tied to “the recruitment, eligibility and/or amateur status” of Silvio De Sousa, who played his freshman season at Kansas last year. De Sousa, a 6-foot-9 forward, joined the Jayhawks after graduating high school in December and was a reserve for a Final Four team.
In a statement, Maryland says it has complied with the subpoenas, both of which sought records dating to January 2015.
“None of the responsive records shows evidence of any violations of applicable laws or NCAA bylaws by university coaches, staff or players,” the school said. “The university has cooperated and will continue to cooperate fully with the ongoing federal investigation.”
The subpoenas are similar to the one issued in January seeking records such as emails, text messages, photographs or calendar entries from N.C. State tied to Smith, a one-and-done lottery pick who completed his rookie season with the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks last year. It’s unclear how many subpoenas have been issued to schools in the case.
The multiyear investigation became public in September when federal prosecutors announced the charges against 10 men — including assistant coaches at Arizona, Auburn, USC and Oklahoma State along with a top Adidas executive — in a fraud and bribery scandal.
The case involves hundreds of thousands of dollars in alleged bribes and kickbacks designed to influence recruits on choosing a school, agent or apparel company. It has entangled schools such as N.C. State , Kansas, Louisville and Miami , among others, though prosecutors withdrew a criminal complaint in February against one of the defendants.
The fallout included the ouster of Louisville’s Hall of Fame head coach Rick Pitino — who was not charged criminally — while top Cardinals recruit Brian Bowen transferred to South Carolina but was never cleared to play. Bowen ultimately declared for the NBA draft but went undrafted.
The case also led to the creation of a commission in October seeking to reform the sport. That group, led by former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, issued its report in April and the NCAA has been reviewing those recommendations for possible implementation ahead of next season.
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.