• Did the ESPN network threw out a made up story on the eve of the Az/ Dux game in order to give Nike U a chance to win the game? Maybe it wasn’t the FBI who made this up out of thin air … maybe it was a corrupt media organ spewing fabrications to the benefit of Nike U. Very interesting stuff:

    • September 16th, 2016 - Ayton signs with AZ.

    • June 17, 2017 - September 25th, 2017 the FBI taps Dawkin’s phone.

    • Feb 24th, 2018 - ESPN breathlessly reports a tape of Stubby discussing a 100K bribe. This followed the next with a slew of ESPN talking heads all proclaiming that Stubby shouldn’t coach, and Ayton shouldn’t play against Nike U. So, we are led to believe that almost a year after Ayton already signed with AZ, Stubby is working out a bribe for him. Hmm. Possible? Maybe. Doesn’t seem very likely, though.

    A few days later, ESPN changes the timeline to say that the call actually happened in 2016, which would’ve been almost a year before they started wiretapping Dawkins. Hmmm. Now it is getting weird. I think this story is about to blow sky high. Here is a link : [](l

  • Why would Miller not coach if he’s innocent?

  • Is there a connection between Nike and ESPN? Not sure how it would benefit ESPN for Zona to lose to Oregon?

  • @wissox Seems a stretch to me. It is not as if there aren’t a lot of winning Nike teams anyway.

    But, crap, maybe ESPN is part of this whole mess. I left the networks out in the post where I talked about all the actors and groups involved.

    I think Yahoo Sports is behind it all.

  • @Gunman It was the bombshell factor. Stubby was already under the gun due to his asst coach getting pinched by the FBI, and Trier getting busted.

  • @wissox Phil Knight built Oregon. Phil Knight lives and dies for Oregon.

  • @mayjay I’m throwing it out there. What would be another reason why this false information would be released? I’m adding 2 + 2, and wildly speculating, but I can’t think of any other reason why it would be released on a Friday night. That’s a real odd time to release info, especially the day b4 Az plays the flagship of Nike.

  • @KUSTEVE The timing actually could explain why a crappy story got released at all. Maybe the 3rd string editors were on duty and made a call above their pay grade, and now ESPN is picking up the pieces.

    Hmmm…I wonder if all those cutbacks in higher paid staffers ever have hurt any companies. Let’s see who remembers Circuit City…Lowe’s is going through it, too.

  • @mayjay I love a good conspiracy theory that involves an evil corporation.

  • @mayjay

    Cutbacks are killing media companies. Media needs layers to make sure they don’t miss things, or rush through things. When all you have is the on the ground reporter and the chief editor, the appropriate diligence is often neglected. The need to push out content is also a problem. Was there a rush to get this story out simply because no new stories had been posted, even if this story hadn’t yet been thoroughly vetted?

    The explosion of social media makes it even more difficult, as false information and bad leads can take on an air of legitimacy from likes, shares and retweets, sometimes from well meaning or legitimate sources. It used to be that bad information was isolated, so it was easy to root out. Now anyone can start up a blog or legitimate looking webpage, and a savvy computer user can manipulate search engine algorithms to be sure that their fake story pops up at the top of specific internet searches.

    We need good investigative journalism more than ever, but the financial structure of news makes that less and less likely.

  • I personally think it is irresponsible to create a thread and throw theories out there for discussion purposes.

    Of course, I am kidding … excellent thread.

    I am shocked, utterly shocked, that the media might spin, report, create headlines, tell part of the story – all to fit its preferred narrative.

  • @mayjay

    Timing is every thing. This is why political stories that interested parties want buried are released on Friday so nobody reads or remembers them by Monday. Likewise, salacious sport stories are released on Friday so they will be all over the weekend sports shows.

  • I’m not done with this story, or maybe the story isn’t done yet. ESPN releases a bombshell the night b4 the Az/Nike U game whether the coach, and quite possibly Az’s potential POY are involved in a payola scheme. The story is released late Friday night, and as a consequence, the Az coach is not allowed to coach the game. Az loses in overtime. The story claims that Stubby was caught on tape working out a bribe for Ayton from the wiretaps in the Dawkins FBI scandal. The only problem is the FBI bugged Dawkins from June 2017- September 2017. Ayton signed with Az in 2016. Once this is pointed out, ESPN changes their story to claim the bugging was now in 2016, well before the Dawkins wiretap went into effect. So, here are my questions about this whole sordid affair:

    1- Why would the FBI leak a story to a sports reporter concerning what looks like an ongoing investigation? On a Friday night?

    2- Why do the timelines not match up to when the surveillance was established? Why would Stubby be talking about a bribe almost a year after Ayton signed? And if Stubby was involved with Dawkins, why did Dawkins go through Book Richardson for the other bribes at Az?

    3- Let’s just suppose that the timeline of 2016 were true when they recorded Stubby, what was the FBI doing tapping Stubby’s phonelines back then? Did they have a warrant …probable cause???

    4- I don’t know if Nike is involved. The bribe scandal seemed to hit Adidas the hardest, except for one Nike school…AZ. AZ is coming off a huge scandal in the football program that cost RichRod his job. Add in the Book Richardson bribery, and you have self-created turmoil, for sure. Not denying Az has done a ton of wicked crap that brought a sledge hammer down on their head. But here is where it begins to get weird: Trier gets suspended the same week they are to play Oregon, vehemently denies it, and is aggressively appealing it. Hmm.That doesn’t seem like a normal reaction to getting caught. Then a leaked story about a floating timeline of a supposed bribe the day before the Oregon game. ESPN rushes to have their talking heads proclaim there is no way that Stubby should coach, or Ayton should play. Ayton and his family and attorney are simply apoplectic over the accusation. Stubby is absolutely beside himself protesting his innocence. These are not normal reactions by guilty people. Maybe Nike has nothing to do with this at all- certainly one can be curious about the fortuitous timing of the “leak” on the eve of a must-win game for Oregon to have any shot at the NCAA tournament.

    So, it leads me to question whether the Stubby ordeal is corruption being exposed, or whether it reveals corruption by those in lofty places. My own feeling is ESPN is rotten to the core- a bastion of cronyism, favoritism, and selective journalism. In my opinion, if and when the curtain gets pulled back, that Nike is behind alot of this, and I wonder if there might be some elements even in the FBI that are being influenced. Money talks. This whole ordeal stinks to high heaven.

  • @KUSTEVE I could see ESPN being pissed that Yahoo is breaking news that they aren’t. Thus someone creating news bigger than what Yahoo is releasing causing them to do things without vetting them properly.

    I still think your Oregon/Nike reasoning is small apples. Oregon making the tourney is worthless if they are just going to lose in one of the first two or three rounds. Which looks likely. It would be better for Nike to pump Ayton all the way up and help Arizona as much as possible. If anything, Nike would want this story buried. I don’t see how it benefits Nike to have one of the 10 schools who could possibly win the NC to get a worse seed or lose players/coaches.

    Seems to me like a major waste of time and dollars for one game unless someone were influenced by a huge gambler or something. I mean we are talking ESPN could be sued for tens of millions if this was to get proven untrue.


    Stubby met with the University to discuss his future. He was not at UA’s practice Tuesday…

    Arizona obviously has a lot of pressure to decide soon whether Miller is going to continue coaching the team or are they going to head into a direction of eventually firing him.

    The actual tapes are sealed in court.

    It would be a gigantic blunder if ESPN reported what they did and it had no validity. That could be just as damaging as the actual report.

    Not seeing the Nike connection seeing how Arizona is Nike as well and is one of the premiere West Coast programs.

  • @Kcmatt7 I suggest you read the links to Phil Knight. This guy lives and dies Oregon basketball. He has contributed hundreds and hundreds of millions. he is every bit as much a Dux fan as we are KU fans. Only he has unlimited money, power, and influence. So, I don’t think it has much to do with Nike making money off Oregon if they make it into the tournament. I wonder how much Nike spends on advertising on ESPN every year. Is it that much of a reach to openly wonder if Knight used his influence to get a story cooked up? Also, ESPN was recently accused of scrubbing derogatory statements from another one of their advertisers- Wendys. They ran a story where Preston Brown of the Bills had said he got into better shape by eliminating eating Wendys, and the story was later scrubbed by ESPN to take out references to Wendys. ESPN is bleeding lots of money right now. Cable subscriptions are way down which is affecting their bottom line. To say they are vulnerable to one of their largest advertisers might be an understatement.

  • @BeddieKU23 I was under the impression he met with Az big wigs. I have not seen where he met with the FBI Monday. Do you have a link?

  • KUSTEVE said:

    @BeddieKU23 I was under the impression he met with Az big wigs. I have not seen where he met with the FBI Monday. Do you have a link?

    Your right he met with Arizona not the FBI. I got the two confused. I retract my statement on the FBI, innocent part

  • @KUSTEVE No. ESPN likely screwed this up on their own. Phil Knight stands to lose more money if he screws a big client and a player likely to bring in millions to Nike over the years. If the story got out (and why wouldn’t it?) he would be risking being barred permanently from Oregon basketball to help Ore win a game it won anyway w/o Ayton being absent. Stumpy being on the court could not be the huge edge Knight was seeking.

    Occam’s Razor.

  • I accept and understand I am a voice in the wilderness on this. LOL. Feel free to disagree, but I feel I have a compelling case of intrigue, and have laid out a pretty logical prima facie case. From the very first moment the asst coach bribe scandal was announced, I felt there was a lot more behind it than meets the eye. The idea that Nike would never go after one of it’s own, imo, does not factor in the obsession that most influential donor in the history of college sports has with a certain team he loves more than life itself. The millions they make off of Az sports is simply a drop in the bucket to a multi-billion dollar company, imo. Stick Knil Knight, and he bleeds Dux. Like i said, i don’t have a smoking gun…yet. Might not ever have that smoking gun. But, at least for me, I will continue to believe until proven otherwise. I appreciate your comments, even if I haven’t sold you…yet.

  • I think ESPN favors Nike schools, in terms on the false or incorrect reports from the media, it seems pretty normal these days. Denzel Washington, one of my favorite actors once said “If you watch the news you are misinformed and if you dont watch you’re uninformed”. Its all based on ratings and who you can get to read or watch your outlet. The Walter Cronkite’s of the world are gone, people like him have passed or moved on.

  • @KUSTEVE I did read the links. And I still do not see why Nike would attempt to destroy one of their most profitable schools just so Oregon could win a single regular season basketball game. Not to mention that if this were to get out and that you are correct, we are talking prison time for anyone who was complicit. Like hard prison time.

    Not to mention that it could cost Nike billions of future revenue, because who in the world would not shred their Nike contract then and there? What player would sign another Nike endorsement deal? Or the stock market implications that would come from it. Or what other scandals would come out of an investigation into just this one scandal. Because if they are willing to lose all of that just over one basketball game, Nike is even more corrupt than I would have thought.

    And, that brings me to my final point. Even if you are right, why waste the bullet now, that you could have saved for the Conference Tournament which is about their only real chance to make the NCAA Tournament as of right now.

  • @Kcmatt7 I’m not saying my premise appears to be the most logical, but without that premise, we are left with a random event that happened out of the blue, where the story has already been corrected twice since it was initially reported, which still doesn’t jibe with the timeline that was already established pre season with the Dawkins wiretaps from June to September of 2017. Take away the coincidence of playing Nike U, and completely dismiss Nike’s involvement altogether, and either ESPN is lying about the timeline of the wiretap, or the FBI is lying. Because there were no wiretaps on Stubby in 2016. And Ayton signed with AZ in 2016. But ESPN is now saying the wiretaps were not done when the FBI said- they were done in 2016. The same week, Trier pulls a dirty drug test, and his reaction, at least to me, doesn’t seem like a guilty man. I will use a good example- when the sh** hit the fan about Cliff’s Mom taking that loan, we didn’t hear two words from Cliff the rest of the season. Look, I’ll grant you make a strong case why my theory could be all wet, but it just seems real funny that all events take place in a week. The last time the FBI announced a coach on the take ( Pitino ), they were there with bells and whistles, front and center on tv. Why would the FBI simply leak an allegation of this proportion to a sports reporter? Why wasn’t the FBI behind the cameras announcing this, like they did last time? Why the very curious Friday night release? Lots of unanswered questions for me. I appreciate the give and take. For some reason, I am fascinated by the whole story. lots of cloak and dagger stuff.


    You know what sucks… Ayton was headed to Kansas before Stumpy arranged his paycheck.

  • Now, here is another lie that ESPN has been caught in :

    Here’s the headline from the original story:

    FBI wiretaps show Sean Miller discussed $100K payment to lock recruit

    Now, the story has been changed and altered as of today. Now, when you look for what would’ve been the biggest story of the year on the ESPN website, it’s nowhere to be found. You have to look way down on the ESPN website to find a mention of the scandal. And lo and behold, they have the story. And curiously, they won’t lead the story off with their own scoop, they lead off with the loans story from Yahoo. And when they mention their own exclusive scoop on the Ayton bribery scandal, here is what they say:

    Sources told ESPN that FBI wiretaps intercepted telephone conversations between Arizona coach Sean Miller and Christian Dawkins, a key figure in the FBI’s investigation into college basketball corruption, in which Miller discussed paying $100,000 to ensure star freshman Deandre Ayton signed with the Wildcats.

    Now, wait just a second…on Friday, you said the FBI wiretaps showed Stubby was paying off Ayton … NOW, IT"S SOURCES TOLD ESPN…

    Now, that’s quite a leap. And a big, fat intentional LIE that is being covered up by ESPN. Maybe it was simply a reporter wanting to make a name for themselves…maybe it was more ominous. I dunno, but the more I think about it, the more I think the FBI was never involved in this story, and the shock value of the fake news was the intended effect. It wouldn’t surprise me if they planned all along to walk the story back.

  • @KUSTEVE The FBI investigation started in early 2016. So it is likely that there was plenty of wire-tapping going on in 2016.

    More times than not, the simple answer is the right answer. Combining the events would mean that you need to include the NCAA in the conspiracy. Which seems even less likely.

    The most likely solution is that ESPN CBB department wanted to stick it to the idiots over at Yahoo and prove that ESPN is still the big leagues with the better sources. But this caused them to rush a story out and not vet it like they should have.

    Also, your wire-tap timeline is based on what? Everything I have read shows the investigation started in early 2016.

  • @drgnslayr What if a bribe wasn’t ever paid to Ayton? The ESPN story has more holes than swiss cheese. Trust me, it wouldn’t bother me a bit if they could prove he took a bribe. I thought he was bought when he signed with them. And even though the ESPN story is fake news, it doesn’t mean Ayton or Stubby are innocent. But, you can’t make up a big, fat lie and present it as news like ESPN did to take em out. You can’t say FBI wiretaps show one thing ( which was the biggest story of the year, imo), and then change the story a few days later, and say sources tell ESPN… I think the whole process was corrupt, which makes me doubt the veracity of the charges.

  • @Kcmatt7 Dawkins was wiretapped June 2017 through September 2017. If the FBI had wiretapped Stubby in 2016, then the story would’ve broke when they nailed Pitino, Book Richardson, and the gang in 2017. The FBI’s involvement with AZ centered around Dawkins. At the time that Book was booked, Stubby issued a statement saying he knew nothing about the bribes. If they actually had Stubby on tape trying to get together 100K for Ayton, would they have simply sat on that info? Why would they publicly call out Pitino, and not say a word about Stubby?

  • @KUSTEVE Correcting timelines on a story like this, and backing down from a statement of fact to a statement that a source says something, is precisely what happens when a journalist has written a story based on a source who later turns out to be not credible or corroborated.

    That is why I think it was released erroneously before higher level editors could assure themselves it could be corroborated.

    It is also why virtually no major news organization releases anything until they have one or even two corroborations.

    Now, Jethro, I think it is fair to examine the original source’s motives in telling ESPN about the alleged wiretap. We could well infer that source was connected to someone who was hoping to make bucks on the game. If so, they duped ESPN, I think. That only requires a crooked source either connected to the FBI or pretending to be, a gullible reporter, and an anxious editor. This makes more sense than having a conspiracy between someone at Nike, Knight, and a number of people at ESPN.

  • @KUSTEVE Source on the wire tapping dates?


    True… it is just suspicious since Ayton even told Self he was coming to Kansas and then at the last minute he didn’t.

    The payment will probably never be proven, one way or the other.

  • @drgnslayr Weren’t we the ones who got accused of something suspicious by Steve Fisher when we allegedly took Withey away from USD?

  • @mayjay That was Kevin Young, I believe. He squawked like a chicken over that.

  • @KUSTEVE Thx!

  • @KUSTEVE Oh, that’s right–we got Withey as fallout from the scandal involving Arizona’s last coach when he resigned…

  • mayjay said:

    It is also why virtually no major news organization releases anything until they have one or even two corroborations.

    You are thinking about the way it used to be which is no longer the way the MSM operates now. You have frequent occasions recently when organization like ABC and CNN have had to retract stories that were not properly vetted because they feared someone else would come with the story first. News organization now compete with Social media which has no controls…a shame, really.

    The times they are a changing - Bob Dylan.

  • If (IF!) money was paid, it could possibly be offshore in, say, the Bahamas? You can’t “follow the money” where banking laws won’t let it happen. Not knowledgeable about these things, but I’ve heard that money handled this way is virtually untraceable. I’m not sure how family would access it because you can’t hide a transfer to your own account. I’d bet attorneys could find a way to make the money useful though…

  • Vindication! Here is the pull quote:

    247Sports has since reported that there were serious questions about the validity of ESPN’s report.

  • @KUSTEVE Complete vindication! Wow! All the details about Nike’s involvement, and how Phil Knight pulled strings with ESPN to screw AZ in the game…oh, wait. There aren’t.

    In a more serious vein, did anybody here disagree with the part about problems with the report? Or just about your Knight suggestion?


    Lorenzo Romar is coaching Arizona? They are so screwed…

  • @mayjay My snark detector just went off. I said the whole story was BS days before this article came out, when everyone was still thinking it was true. I nailed it. The motivation behind it has not been determined, which I guess you probably think was simply a reporter trying to rush a story without proper editing. A story reporting that claims the FBI has Stubby on a wiretap discussing a 100K bribe to a player isn’t a story you report unless you have the goods - this isn’t a story about the local girl scout cookie drive where they misspelled the name of the Scout troop leader… this is about a wiretap, the FBI, and a bribe. This is about proclaiming at first the FBI has Stubby dead to rights on a wire tap, and then changing that to “sources said”. Now, that means …either the FBI is leaking info, which I don’t believe, or somebody wanted to take Stubby out real badly. So, we know now the story is falling apart … one of the biggest stories reported this year in sports is being shown to be pure steaming crap. Still, we’re left wondering the motivation for reporting a false story that has affected a team, a coach, and a program in such a profound way. I think it’s a matter of time before the people looking into this start wondering why, and then I think we’ll see people wondering the same thing about Phil knight, Nike, their relationship with ESPN, and the curious timing of this fake story.

  • @KUSTEVE Actually, I never bought the whole story from the beginning because I am always skeptical of stories based on “sources claiming knowledge of the tape”. I think they went with someone who claimed to have been told by someone else what was on the tape.

    It is far more credible when they claim that two or more sources heard tapes directly or watched video.

    It is the difference between hearing something from the first person who was told something in a game of Telephone, and hearing it from someone 5 links down the line. Unreliable.

    It sounds, though, as if UAz does not yet think Stumpy is cleared. This may be a smoke/fire situation. So, I won’t go so far as to say a complete pile of steaming crap, but ESPN should just retract it completely while they review it.

    Bought a pair of Brooks running shoes yesterday, just to be safe, though. Have never supported Nike. Brooks is owned by Berkshire Hathaway. Just don’t tell me Warren Buffet did this to help Creighton down the street in Omaha! (Just funnin’ ya!)

  • @KUSTEVE Plenty of people have made up stories just for recognition.

    Stephen Glass. Jayson Blair. Jack Kelley.

    There have also been plenty of stories that have been fabricated to alter events, such like you have suggested.

    But almost all of those events are 10X larger than throwing one game. Lying about Sadaam Hussein. Trying to throw presidential elections. Trying to pass bills and laws so a president can sign it. Pretending the president is ok after having a stroke. Etc. Etc. Those are the type of events that someone makes up a story for.

    Then, there have been obvious games thrown for gambling purposes. I haven’t seen evidence of this yet. Though, I would think the timing of it was questionable if that was the case. They could have waited until Saturday to release the story, but instead they released it Friday, allowing Vegas to change the line before accepting bets. Basketball is only bet on the day of. So I do not think that would be the reason.

    So, unless we can find a reason as to why someone would want Arizona to lose to Oregon or ruin Arizona’s season, I find the most likely solution to be that a writer wrote a story from hearsay and passed it off as truth so he could get bonus points. Only it backfired because apparently nobody vetted the story.

  • @Kcmatt7 You’re probably right. I’m still left wondering, though.

  • @KUSTEVE I mean I would love to see you be right lol. That’d be one hell of a story.

  • @KUSTEVE @mayjay

    The Missouri AD indicted the Governor on charges he took a compromissing picture of the woman he was having an affair; however, and as reported on the news, the don’t have the picture which may or may no exist and are “working on getting it.” Of course the DA and the Governor happen to be of different political parties and worlds apart ideologically.

    Not getting into politics, just showing a current example of how stories are reported and even charges brought up with sketchy or non-existing evidence.

  • Arizona having a press conference soon.

    Reading Arizona’s board it seems the President and Boosters are behind Miller and sounds as if he’s going to be reinstated with some new terms in his contract… A day ago it seemed as if he would be fired and that could still be the case but there seems to be more support to keep him then it looks

  • @JayHawkFanToo Actually, those charges happen more often than you think. Usually it is the result of having credible witnesses to the crime but the physical evidence is in the hands of, and belongs to, the alleged perpetrator. Bringing the charges ensures that if the evidence gets destroyed by the accused he can then be prosecuted for obstruction of justice. Independently of the underlying crime.

    You might say they can get the evidence using a search warrant, but there might not be any ability to narrow down the places it could be.

    I have no idea what happened with the Gov, but I have seen cases brought where the perp took pictures without consent and then bragged about them and showed them to people. Finding posts of the pics on the internet made taking the pictures chargeable even without the originals or the camera.