Earlier Thursday, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, whose team plays LSU here in the other Sweet 16 matchup, said “everybody” related to the FBI investigation into college basketball “should be held accountable.” LSU is being coached by interim coach Tony Benford after head coach Will Wade was caught on a federal wiretap allegedly making an offer to a middleman for a player, reportedly freshman guard Javonte Smart. Smart was cleared to play in the postseason. “I think everybody should be held accountable in everything we do,” Izzo said. “I think coaches should be held accountable. I think players should be held accountable. And I think whether it’s the NCAA — I mean, we all need to be held accountable.
Zion out here now with his teammates as practice starts pic.twitter.com/5XrM1AgdQm— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) March 28, 2019
Avenantti on Tuesday accused Nike — without evidence — of “rampant” corruption mere hours after he was released from U.S. custody on charges he tried to extort up to $25 million from the company. In a string of posts on Twitter — a medium he has often used to accuse others of wrongdoing — Avenatti claimed Nike has funneled “large sums” of money to elite student-athletes bound for top colleges. Prosecutors haven’t commented on whether Avenatti’s information about Nike was accurate but said he crossed a line by trying to enrich himself with threats. A Nike spokesman declined to answer questions about Avenatti’s tweets. The company released a statement Monday saying it will “not be extorted or hide information that is relevant to a government investigation.” It also said it has been cooperating with a federal investigation into NCAA basketball for a year. Avenatti, best known for representing porn actress Stormy Daniels in legal battles against President Donald Trump, didn’t produce evidence or detail exactly what he believed the company had done wrong. But he said that corruption “reaches the highest levels of Nike” and cryptically referred to receipts that are “clear as day.”
The Duke assistants getting up shots. My money’s on Scheyer pic.twitter.com/GMSq2oI1Gt— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) March 28, 2019