Our Adidas Issue Ain't Nothin' Like Louisville's

  • The legal case between UL and Pitino looks like a mother lode for info on shady stuff. This article even mentions DePaul as offering 200 Large for Bowen.


  • What non adidas incentive system were these individuals having to outbid with the $100,000?

    If the incentive system being outbid involved no illegal cash payments, why was not $1, or $100, or $1000 enough? Why did it take $100,000 to keep a player from choosing a non adidas program?

  • I was wondering why 200 thousand wasn’t enough to get him to DePaul?!! Maybe it was the dad who told them that to try to get more $ and simply not true.

  • @mayjay doesn’t worry you about Cliff?

  • @Kcmatt7

    I am not sure how Alexander would be a problem for KU. If I recall correctly, the issue was his mother getting a loan using his future earnings and possible representation as collateral. No laws were broken but obviously his NCAA eligibility compromised but…KU did no play him again after the allegations came out and, if I recall correctly, the allegations were never technically “proven” by the NCAA, although there appears to be enough annecdotal evidence to infer that it did happen. KU acted pro-actively and it would be difficult to show that it did anything wrong. Of course, this is based on the information made available to date and none of us or I should say…most of us…are not privy of what goes on behind the scenes.

  • @JayHawkFanToo I think you are right. There is a difference, I surmise, in how the NCAA will treat the current crop of cases (involving inducements to attend a particular school) from how it has punished impermissible benefits that have nothing to do with the kid’s choice of schools (like D Jackson and Selby). In the latter type of cases, they usually just suspend the kid for some formulaic number of games and make him pay it back or donate something. The new cases involving inducements to attend implicate eligibility fraud ab initio and they showed, with Bowen, that they are not going to let kids skate if they (or family) tried to profit from their choice. (That is why I am not hopeful on SDS.)

  • @mayjay Why was 200k not good enough for DePaul? It’s DePaul, they haven’t made the NCAA tournament in 15 years and only have 3 tournament appearances since 1990. DePaul sucks, that’s why 200k wasn’t good enough for them.

  • @mayjay I think you are exactly right. Do you agree that if SDS is eligible, that would be a reasonable defense to the fraud claim … as the fraud is premised on the action by the Adidas folks creating ineligibility (defrauding the school)?

  • @HighEliteMajor I don’t think it would make a difference because the crime of conspiracy to commit fraud is complete once there is (1) an agreement to do the acts constituting fraud (here, to have the parent/guardian prepare and submit falsified papers with the intent to deceive the school and the NCAA), and (2) a completed action “substantially in furtherance of the object of the conspiracy” (here, actually preparing and submitting those documents). SDS not being ruled ineligible might seemingly lessen the effect of the conspiracy, but a good prosecutor would say it didn’t matter because that only means the deception was successful–SDS got in the door on scholarship, and that was the goal. Whether 3rd party NCAA subsequently booted him out of BB wouldn’t matter.

    A hit man hired to kill someone, and the person hiring him, are both still guilty of conspiracy to murder once an act is complete (like providing a gun, or paying) even if the shot misses, or even if intended victim is not even there or even if the hit man never intends to do it (as when an undercover agent pretends to be a hit man).

  • @mayjay

    I believe these cases might prove to be more difficult to prove than it seems. As far as I know it is not against the law for a business interest to give money to someone else in return for some consideration or none at all; in fact, they do it all the time and is called endorsements. Now we all know that receiving money in this manner is a violation of NCAA rules but really not a violation of the law. Has the FBI in fact become the de facto law enforcer for the NCAA, a non government organization? Absent active participation by a public school personnel, looks like the FBI is making violations of NCAA rules a crime.

  • Again, why were the individuals reputedly indicted reputedly paying so much to get recruits to go to certain schools?

    What incentive system were these indicted individuals outbidding, or alternatively what possibly corrupt process were the payments enabling?

    Who really benefitted (and how) from the redirection of them to certain programs?

    Were recruits being compromised by the payments, so they could later be further compromised as players?

    What was going on?

  • @jaybate-1.0

    College basketball is big business, particularly at a school like DePaul, which doesn’t have football as a money making sport.

    College basketball has a thing called “units”. Each NCAA tournament qualification earns a conference money, and each win earns the school and conference an additional “unit”. In 2017, each unit was worth $265,000. In 2017, it was expected to be about $273,000. And that is paid out each year for the next six years.

    That means if DePaul gets Bowen and they make the NCAA tournament and increase their ticket sales modestly, they easily make back a one time $200,000 payment. If they make the tournament and win a game, they come close to doubling up their investment.

    Now, the caveat is that each conference may decide to pay that money out by splitting it equally among its members, so for the 10 team Big East, that’s $27,300 per school. However, many conferences give the advancing team an extra unit (so the 10 team Big East splits the payout 11 ways (about $25,000 per school) with the school responsible for the unit getting 2 payments instead of 1.

    Bowen almost certainly makes DePaul a .500 team in the Big East. Marquette and Butler (both 9-9 in conference last season) were bubble teams in the Big East, with Butler making the field and Marquette left out.

    So if the Big East doesn’t split, DePaul makes back the $200K in a single year by making the tournament. If the Big East splits the money evenly, DePaul comes up a bit short, but maybe makes it up in ticket sales. If the Big East distributes with double shares, DePaul makes up the $200K investment in about four years.

    And that’s why the incentive exists. If one guy might push you through to the tournament, that’s worth a unit. If that guy might push you forward another round, that’s worth another unit. Depending on how payments are split, a $100K or $200K payment might be very profitable, and that’s before accounting for things like jersey sales, tickets, concessions, etc.

  • @justanotherfan

    Do we know of any school that has directly paid money to athletes other than small amounts? To the best of my recollection, payments were always done by boosters and more recently allegedly by shoecos but not by schools.

    A school program personnel would have to be crazy to pay directly so the allegation that De Paul offered $200K seems highly unlikely.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    I do not know of any.

    But I can see the incentives there in black and white. Or green, more accurately.

  • @JayHawkFanToo I would suspect that the “DePaul offer” of $200,000 was, if the claim is even true, really made by a booster or other 3rd party, not the staff. Certainly not in an acceptance letter!

    I could see someone from the school saying the value of the scholarship over 4 years would be 200 grand.

  • @mayjay

    That is not how the article reads. Read paragraphs 1, 4 and 5 of highlighted text below; he clearly talks about De Paul, the school, and where it would get $200K:

    On the same day, according to the university, Pitino sent Johnson a text saying, "Coach DePaul trying to pay Bowen 200 k to come there. Crazy world!"

    DePaul assistant coach Shane Heirman, who was hired in May 2017, coached Bowen for one season at La Lumiere School in La Porte, Indiana. Two players on the Blue Demons’ roster in 2017-18 – guard Brandon Cyrus and Illinois transfer Jalen Coleman-Lands – also played for Heirman at La Lumiere School. Cyrus, a 6-foot-5 guard who started 55 games at DePaul the last two seasons, transferred to UC Santa Barbara and will sit out this coming season under NCAA rules.

    "DePaul University takes seriously the high standards of conduct expected in our athletics department and will not tolerate deviation from those standards," the university said in a statement later Thursday. "To date, neither the NCAA nor federal prosecutors have contacted us about this matter. We will, of course, fully cooperate if contacted in the future by the NCAA or federal law enforcement."

    While Pitino didn’t respond to a request for comment from ESPN, he explained his text to the Courier-Journal:

    "I said to Kenny Johnson on the phone: ‘I don’t believe a word of it. Where would DePaul get $200,000 to pay Brian Bowen?’ There’s no truth to what this guy said. He’s a nobody in the business. He hates DePaul, this guy. …

    "There was no merit behind the thing. That’s why I never brought it to anybody. I get 20-30 text messages: ‘I heard UCLA is giving this. I heard Kansas is giving this.’ There’s no facts. I really didn’t think twice about it."

    On June 3, 2017, Bowen committed to play for Louisville.

  • @JayHawkFanToo I think my inferences are legit. How would Pitino know exactly where it was coming from from DePaul? And, if you read it that way, he slso heard KU was offering money, so you must think that was staff, too?

  • @justanotherfan

    The system you hypothesize implies most schools would pay the reputed going rate of $100-200k for a player or two every season. $100-200k appears essentially peanuts for 10-20 wealthy alumni to pass the hat for.

    And that would mean the FBI-DOJ could get someone at almost every school to rat out the paid players by squeezing them with wire taps, same as has reputedly done elsewhere.

    But instead we so far have a very narrow indictment involving only a few schools including most contracted with adidas and a few (?) with Nike, and nothing but rumors of further indictments.

    So: the facts so far don’t support your hypothesis.

    Let me offer a hypothesis that might fit with both the few number of indictments and with the indictments involving a mixture of adidas AND Nike schools, AND with some number more indictments coming , but not with a ubiquity of indictments implied by your hypothesis.

    What if some persons were paying a certain number of recruits each season to go to certain schools to point shave? Historically, point shaving scandals have tended to have been focused at a few schools. Let’s say The payment immediately compromises the player and the assistant coach involved, but leaves the head coach plausible deniability. These persons paying the players and assistant coaches then instruct the player to point shave a few games each season. These persons lay huge bets with knowledge that the spread is going to be broken this way, or that, and in turn make millions of dollars. Further, these same persons go to organized crime and the Deep State and offer to launder huge sums via winning bets based on planned point shaving.

    Under this hypothesis, the conspicuously simultaneous timing of the Rice Commission and the FBI-DOJ investigation might be a kind of limited hangout not intended to end pointshaving, but rather intended to weed out unwanted competitors trying to horn in on the big scam, and to give the scam cover by proclaiming college basketball has been cleaned up.

    Like yours, it’s just a hypothesis, at present. But it appears to much better fit the reputed facts so far and appears to promise much greater rewards for risking criminal behavior than your hypothesis. Finally , it appears much more in conformance with basketball’s reputed history of recurrent point shaving problems.

    Again, it’s only a hypothesis, not a claim of verified fact. Im not strongly in favor of this hypothesis. I’m just tossing it out there, because it fits the facts a little better and to give you another chance to put on your thinking cap.

    Rock Chalk!!

  • @jaybate-1.0

    My hypothesis is focused only on the types of players that could, in a decent situation, move a team up one level (i.e., move a bubble team into the tournament, move a tournament qualifier to the Round of 32, Sweet 16, etc.)

    The thing is, there are a finite number of players with that type of ability. Once you get past the top 30 or 40 recruits, the guys left are not talented enough on their own to move the needle.

    Take Marcus Garrett for instance. He’s a talented player and he certainly helps KU. He was ranked in the 50’s or 60’s, depending on which service you opt to use. A good player to be sure.

    If you put Marcus Garrett on a team like Oklahoma State (barely missed the tournament) does that push OSU into the tournament? My guess is probably not. He makes them a bit better, but maybe not one or two wins better enough to get into the tournament.

    On the other hand you have a guy like Silvio. He was behind the curve coming to KU at midseason, and yet I think most on this board would agree that Silvio helped push KU up a level.

    Silvio was ranked in the 30’s, which is probably about the cutoff for a player being able to make a difference from one level to the next.

    The point shaving you’re theorizing about is more complicated because it would be difficult for a freshman to go to a bigger program and do so because their playing time would likely get cut if they were inconsistent, mitigating their ability to change the outcome of the game. Its much more likely that a player already established in the rotation would be able to do that because they have more space for the occasional lapse or mistake that keeps the game close that a freshman may not have built up yet.

    Adding to that is the fact that gamblers would likely target guys without pro aspirations - i.e. rotation guys in college. A guy with NBA potential won’t risk it over a gambling ring. A guy that is going to fade from the spotlight after college might, especially if they aren’t throwing games, just altering the over under or final spread. Most high caliber athletes are too competitive to outright throw a game.

  • @mayjay Back to the fraud issue. And I am talking the issue of a valid defense, not a dismissal or questioning whether charges should have been filed.

    Talking through this a bit. I understand that if there was a conspiracy to violate the law. Makes sense. Whether the law was actually violated (meaning if there never ended up being a robbery or a murder) doesn’t matter. We want to discourage such conspiracies.

    But in the criminal example, the purpose of the conspiracy was an intent to commit a crime.

    With this example, there was obviously no intent to commit a crime. The prosecutor assumes there was an intent to cause a rules violation.

    Assuming that, it would seem a valid defense (making its way into a jury instruction somehow) would be that the government would have to show that that the payments complained of would create such a sanction so that the University would be defrauded of that benefit (i.e, the player losing eligibility).

    Because without that penalty, there is no underlying fraud.

    Again, I think this is different than the simple criminal case where you’re planning to rob the bank. We know that’s a crime. With this, a “rule”, there is only a “crime” so to speak if the university actually gets defrauded.

    A jury instruction might read that the “You must find the defendant guilty if you determine that the defendant conspired to engage in actions that would defraud the victim of its anticipated benefit.”

    A jury instruction might also read that, “Defendant shall be found not guilty if you believe the defendant’s action would not result in the victim losing its anticipated benefit.”

    Something maybe to consider.

  • @justanotherfan

    Your further specified hypothesis (30-40 players) would apparently lead to at least 30-40 feasible, slam dunk indictments each season, at 30-40 schools given essentially unlimited Federal access to digital communications alone. Add in Federal field informants and online shills moonlighting for the Fed’s and this hypothesis you are further specifying would apparently lead to a much larger number of indictments than has occurred so far. A starting guess would be that a Federal investigation of the last, say, 5 years, could, with existing technology, rather effortlessly come up with 100-200 total indictments, if your hypothesis were a good fit with reality.

    So: again, I appreciate your attempt at further systematic speculation on this issue (hypotheses found ill-fitting direct us where not to look, after all, and so are themselves useful), but it just doesn’t fit the facts yet. And as time passes it appears increasingly unlikely to fit well.


    We are BOTH “hypothesizing” in slim hopes to start an information gathering and explanatory process that might enable us to keep improving fit with our so far very limited reputed facts. We are just curious fans hoping for the best for our jointly loved sport of college basketball—nothing more.

    For clarification, we each remain IMHO no where near proven theories, though my hypothesis appears possibly to fit slightly more of what little appears known so far. But again, I am not satisfied with my hypothesis either. It fits the edges of the phenomenon better, but there is still no evidence of point shaving at this time, just a legacy of intermittent point shaving scandals in college basketball.

    Rock Chalk!

  • @HighEliteMajor You are overlooking the falsified financial documents that were presented to KU to obtain something of value (scholarship). Any use of false information to obtain financial aid, loans, scholarships, etc. violates a number of state and federal statutes. There is your crime, not tied to NCAA rules at all. That is why, if the preparer did not know of the payments and was also duped by the financial plotters (say, if it was done directly by SDS or a parent in Africa), and if that person wasn’t part of the conspiracy, I am not sure the criminal conspiracy could be proven. Big ifs!

  • @mayjay Ok … thanks for the response. Being a little skeptical here. But who filled out the financial documents? It wasn’t the persons charged. They didn’t represent anything under penalty of perjury (assuming those are executed that way). If the player did it, with the guardian, then they would be co-conspirators.

    But more importantly, though, the federal indictment only references the violation of NCAA rules as the basis for the fraud. I do see your logic but it wasn’t charged that way.

  • @mayjay

    Let me ask a quick question. Are elite players given the scholarship based on financial need or scholastic achievement? I was under the impression that scholarships were based on their ability to put the ball through the hoop regardless of financial need as long as they meet the basic admission requirements; Michael Jordan’s kid was given a scholarship despite of his father’s wealth. The only League I know where ALL the scholarships, even sports, are based on financial need alone is the Ivy League. If this is indeed the case, why would they need to submit financial forms? Now, i know that kids that do not get one of the 13 scholarships available can get financial aid but usually those are not the ones that are recipients of under the table money.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    My argument is not that everyone is paying players. My argument is that there is motive for programs to pay players.

    We both have hypotheses that are dependent on willing participation in ventures that are illegal by one or more people. Because of that, I hesitate to cast a wide net saying that everyone absolutely is participating in wrongdoing.

    However, there is motivation there, if not by the coach, then potentially by alumni, boosters, administration, etc.

    The only question I can really address is a possible hypothesis on why a school like DePaul would offer $200K to a recruit. I can’t say that DePaul certainly did do that, or if other, similarly situated schools would, could or have done that. But there’s a fairly straight line between talent and making the NCAA tournament, and just making the tournament is worth quite a bit of money.

  • A lot of public schools require the FAFSA to be filed. Even for athletes who obtained a full-ride. This is for two reasons. 1 - It simplifies the 1098-T filing process to force everyone down one path. And 2 - If an athlete is eligible for any grants, their scholarship would actually only pick up what was remaining in order to save money. I don’t know if KU requries this, but I would presume that they do and that almost every other school does it for those reasons.

    The NCAA Clearinghouse also requires you certify that you have not taken money. In order to be eligible for an athletic scholarship you have to pass through the clearinghouse. By lying there, no doubt that they falsified documents in order to receive a scholarship. So, I’ll take @majay at his word and believe that constitutes a crime.

    I have yet to see how this wasn’t a crime. It’s not worth the FBI’s resources, but it is a crime.

  • @Kcmatt7 Thank you. I had read that but had no clue about the details.

  • Looks like UNC is in trouble again. I am sure they will get a slap on the wrist and be told …bad boys…and that will be it.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Cue up the Get Out Of Jail FREE card in 3…2…1…

  • Hey, I know this is a tad off-topic, but I was thinking out loud, and was wondering if we get in any hot water over Silvio, couldn’t we like self-impose a bowl ban on our football team for the upcoming year, and use that as a self-imposed penalty? I mean, the basketball team has been carrying football for practically every year for almost 100 years … take one for the team, football.

    Literal Reader Alert: This is a sarcasm warning. The above post may not be a literal question.

  • @JayHawkFanToo @KUSTEVE

    Well, I sure hope this puts to rest any persecution complex on our part from thinking that Nike schools are not being thoroughly investigated and, forgive me, brought to Heel.

  • @mayjay I have an autistic son who is very high functioning, and sometimes I kid with him, and he says " Daddy, are you just kidding me"? My thought was…Mayjay, are you just kidding me???..lololol…

  • @mayjay

    Apparently UNC still receiving preferential treatment since the suspensions are early in the season and before conference play starts; they were also allowed to stagger the suspensions to “protect players” or as the rest of the world calls it to minimize the impact of penalties.

    ”UNC was able to request to the NCAA that the suspension of the defensive ends (three of which were listed) be staggered. “Multiple players share the same position, so to protect the health and safety of the students, the NCAA approved a request to stagger certain suspensions,” the UNC release said.”

  • KUSTEVE said:

    Hey, I know this is a tad off-topic, but I was thinking out loud, and was wondering if we get in any hot water over Silvio, couldn’t we like self-impose a bowl ban on our football team for the upcoming year, and use that as a self-imposed penalty? I mean, the basketball team has been carrying football for practically every year for almost 100 years … take one for the team, football.



  • justanotherfan said:


    My argument is not that everyone is paying players. My argument is that there is motive for programs to pay players.

    We both have hypotheses that are dependent on willing participation in ventures that are illegal by one or more people. Because of that, I hesitate to cast a wide net saying that everyone absolutely is participating in wrongdoing.

    However, there is motivation there, if not by the coach, then potentially by alumni, boosters, administration, etc.

    The only question I can really address is a possible hypothesis on why a school like DePaul would offer $200K to a recruit. I can’t say that DePaul certainly did do that, or if other, similarly situated schools would, could or have done that. But there’s a fairly straight line between talent and making the NCAA tournament, and just making the tournament is worth quite a bit of money.


    When I offered my hypothesis, it was not clear to me that paying players to point shave actually was a felony?

    Could some legal esquires weigh in on this?

    Is it illegal to pay amateurs to point shave, or is something else related to doing it illegal?

  • @jaybate-1.0 I think it could implicate everything from conspiracy to manipulate a sporting contest to illegal interstate gambling to illegal wire communications to fraud to RICO, depending on who is doing it and how it is done. This definition from USLegal.com gives a hint:

    Shaving is the illegal practice of deliberately limiting the number of points scored by one’s team in an athletic contest, as in return for a payment from gamblers to ensure winnings. It is collaboration between athletes and gamblers to commit criminal sports wagering by manipulating the scores of sporting events such as basketball and football. Athletes are bribed to make the scores between teams closer than they would be otherwise so that the point margin is less than the point spread estimated by oddsmakers.

  • @mayjay

    Thanks so much for the assist.

    I am so glad there is such a Federal law on the books specifically criminalizing such behavior.

    So: I will withdraw my hypothesis, because even it were to capture some substance, I like to leave analysis of criminal activity to legal professionals and law enforcement officials.

    Rock Chalk!!

  • @mayjay Ok, this is off the beaten path a bit, but I’ve always wondered this about point shaving…OK, let’s say you have a player that ISN’T point shaving…in fact, he’s doing the opposite…he’s hitting every shot, every time, and he is helping his team not only win, but helping covering the spread. Why shouldn’t he be charged with a crime because he is intentionally helping the people who bet on his team to win and cover? Why do they only charge the guys that help the team lose, and not the ones that help the team win?

    Note: Literal Reader’s Alert: The above post may actually not be a real question, but may be a feeble attempt at humor.

  • BTW, the Literal Reader’s Alert is not meant for any individual posting on these boards in particular. If I get fact checked by Snopes, i want to have plausible deniability.

  • @KUSTEVE ahhhh you should change your identity 🤣👀

  • @KUSTEVE I actually have heard that question before, even if you were being facetious. Since a player’s job on offense is to score, no one usually cares. BUT… (there is always a but)…

    If a coach puts his starters back in the game with a 20 point lead with 2 mins left after sitting out much of the 2nd half, and if they run fast breaks nonstop and score enough points to beat a 31 point spread, there might at least be some questions asked.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Undercover Jethro?

  • @mayjay You have a point, your Honor.

  • @mayjay Questions wouldn’t be asked of the players in that situation though, they would be investigating the coach and what a coach was doing to be in a position to need to do something like that.

  • Has there been a case of point shaving in college basketball that wasn’t tied to organized crime somehow before?

  • There is a reason why it is called point shaving, it is much easier to purposefully miss shots than to make them. A player can easily “miss” a couple of shot or free throws as needed to manage the spread but there is no guarantee that a player can make a needed shot to beat the spread. Most of the fixed games are those in which a point or two would make a difference and not those with large spreads.

    Vegas has now sophisticated algorithms that are constantly looking for changes in betting patterns so point shaving and any type of cheating of any significance are quickly detected and this is why we have not had many incidents in recent years. In any case, the more recent point shaving incidents involving Northwestern, Arizona State, San Diego State and Donaghy in the NBA involved relatively small amounts and the penalties were also light, typically under 2 years and most just months. One would suspect that the “off the record” penalties doled out by gambling interests were likely more severe.

  • @JayHawkFanToo And most sports books reserve the right to cancel bets and return them if there are serious indicia of shaving, especially if they see unusual activity on their platform or other legitimate books. Actually, that is a factor strongly in favor of allowing legalized gambling. Bookies are not likely to be that willing to part with money and certainly won’t share betting info.

  • To piggyback off @mayjay, events are regularly pulled off the book if irregularities are spotted. Soccer and tennis matches are frequently pulled in Europe because of this. Every now and then a college basketball game will be pulled if a large amount of money starts flowing in randomly into a certain bet, with no money flowing the opposite way.

  • @mayjay I like to tell the story on that issue …it would’ve been around 1993, and 1994, and I was going through my degenerate gambling phase, and I had paid a service 50 bucks for some winners in college bb. This guy tells me bet everything you can on Kent St, who were like 6 point underdogs, so I made a very large bet on Kent St. Kent St wins by over 40. To this day, I think that game was rigged. Just the way the guy from the service talked about the game left me with that feeling.

  • @KUSTEVE I would not be shocked in the least to see smaller CFB and CBB rigged from time to time.