Sport

FBI summoning Nike employees in their college basketball corruption investigation

FBI summoning Nike employees in their college basketball corruption investigation”

Nike's Elite Youth Basketball League debuted in 2010 and since then has become one of the nation's premier travel basketball programs for high school-aged players and younger, and as such is the focus of virtually every major Division I basketball program at events such as the annual Nike Peach Jam in North Augusta, S.C.

Nike told Business Insider in a statement that it "believes in fair and ethical play, both in business and sports, and strongly opposes any form of manipulation", but declined to comment further.

The subpoena news was first reported by Forbes contributor and attorney Darren Heitner.

Nike's EYBL was not listed in complaints from the investigation that were released to the public Tuesday. However, Merl Code, a former Nike youth league employee who is now affiliated with Adidas, was named as a defendant.

At least one recruit, Brian Bowen, involved in the investigation played in the EYBL The family of Bowen, a McDonald's All-American shooting guard, allegedly received $100,000 to attend Adidas-sponsored Louisville.

While Nike doesn't have a direct connection to the case, three of the four assistant coaches who were alleged to have been paid to bring players to an agent and a financial advisor are from Nike schools - Tony Bland of Southern California, Lamont Evans of Oklahoma State and Emmanuel Richardson of Arizona. Cardinals head coach Rick Pitino has been placed on unpaid leave, as has athletic director Tom Zurich.

He encouraged anyone with information about similar schemes to contact the FBI's tip line - an encouragement that came with a vaguely threatening tone, with Acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim saying those with information are better off making a call to the Federal Bureau of Investigation than getting a call from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The other coach said to be involved in the scheme is Chuck Person of Auburn, which has a deal with Under Armour. "Our investigation is ongoing, and we are conducting additional interviews as we speak".

Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) has unfortunately found itself a part of the massive NCAA basketball scandal that has already ensnared its chief rival, Adidas.



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