The FBI’s sprawling investigation into widespread corruption throughout college basketball was centered on the relationship between Adidas and Adidas-sponsored teams at the AAU and college level. That doesn’t mean other apparel companies and the programs they sponsor should get too comfortable.
The FBI is now summoning Nike employees to court as the next step in the investigation, according to a report.
Sources: Employees of Nike's EYBL grassroots division, along with documents, have been subpoenaed by FBI in furtherance of investigation— Darren Heitner (@DarrenHeitner) September 27, 2017
Nike does have a connection to all of this: Merl Code, an Adidas employee arrested on Tuesday, formerly worked for Nike. Nike college programs like Arizona, Oklahoma State, and USC also had assistant coaches who were arrested and charged in the probe.
The EYBL is Nike’s grassroots league — and an attempt at a more structured circuit for elite basketball recruits. At least one recruit involved in the investigation played in the EYBL. That would be Brian Bowen, a McDonald’s All-American shooting guard whose family reportedly received $100K to attend Adidas-sponsored Louisville. Bowen played for the Meanstreets program on the EYBL.
The FBI has set up a hotline for tips on information relevant to the investigation, which remains very much open. The fallout in college basketball is only just beginning.
For more coverage of the scandal, check out our list of 18 key figures in the investigation.