NORTH CAROLINA (Rick Bonnell/Charlotte Observer) - North Carolina, Duke and N.C. State are all mentioned in a Yahoo Sports story detailing widespread corruption involving prominent men's college basketball programs.
Yahoo Sports viewed hundreds of documents connected to a federal probe, that includes alleged payments by sports agents to college players good enough to be drafted into the NBA. Prominent in Yahoo Sport's story: That former N.C. State point guard Dennis Smith Jr., who grew up in Fayetteville, received tens of thousands of dollars wih the intent of influencing his choice of agents.
Smith played a single season for the Wolfpack before entering the draft. He was chosen ninth overall by the Dallas Mavericks, and is an emerging star already, starting most of this season.
Also mentioned in the Yahoo Sports report: Duke freshman Wendell Carter, a power forward-center who was a five-star recruit, and former Kentucky player Bam Adebayo, who grew up in North Carolina and played much of his high school career in High Point.
The report centers on the dealings of longtime sports agent Andy Miller. Prominent in the report is the actions of Miller associate Christian Dawkins, in his efforts to recruit clients for Miller.
Dawkins filed expense reports with Miller detailing numerous meetings with players or their families. While meeting with college players' families, to discuss those players' pro potential, is not necessarily an NCAA violation, questions arise over who paid for meals at those meetings.
Several current or former college players with Carolinas ties mentioned in the Yahoo story: Tony Bradley (North Carolina), Brian Bowen (South Carolina), P.J. Dozier (South Carolina) and Jason Blossomgame (Clemson). Also mentioned, former Virginia star Malcolm Brogdon, who was a surprise NBA Rookie of the Year last season with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Smith shows up in the Yahoo Sports story as receiving at least $43,500 to influence his eventual choice of agents. The documents suggest Miller and his associates might make efforts to recoup those funds when Smith chose other representation.
Smith has said he would have turned pro directly out of high school, had that been an option for him under NBA rules. It was a given when he chose N.C. State that he would be a so-called "one-and-done" college player. Smith has already had a triple-double with the Mavericks and is considered a foundation of that team's rebuilding effort.