Nike's EYBL subpoenaed by FBI.
Nike's Elite Youth Basketball League, more commonly known as Nike EYBL, has been served with a subpoena, as federal prosecutors in New York and the FBI continue their probe into what they've dubbed the "dark underbelly" of college basketball.
According to ESPN, while the EYBL is not specifically named in the case, a former employee who ran it, Merl Code, is one of the defendants. Code, who left Nike for Adidas more than three years ago is accused of assisting Adidas' director of global sports marketing, Jim Gatto, in paying top basketball prospects to ensure they signed with an Adidas school and, later, sign with Adidas once they turned pro.
Additionally, three of the four assistant coaches who were reportedly been paid to recruit players to an agent and a financial advisor are from Nike schools. This includes Tony Bland of Southern California, Lamont Evans of Oklahoma State and Emmanuel Richardson of Arizona. The other coach who was allegedly involved in the scheme is Chuck Person of Auburn, which has a deal with Under Armour. However, ESPN reports Under Armour is not involved with the investigation at this time.
Yesterday afternoon the University of Louisville, and Adidas sponsored school, put Rick Pitino on leave amid the allegations, as well as the school's athletic director, Tom Jurich. Furthermore, Brian Bowen, who allegedly received $100,000 to sign with the Louisville Cardinals, has been suspended indefinitely.
The FBI claims, per TMZ Sports,
"The investigation has revealed multiple instances of bribes paid by athlete advisors, including financial advisors and business managers, as well as high-level apparel company employees, and facilitated by coaches employed by NCAA division 1 universities, to student-athletes playing at or bound for NCAA D-1 universities, and the families of such athletes, in exchange for a commitment by those athletes to matriculate at a specific university and a promise to ultimately sign agreements to be represented by the bribe-payors once the athletes enter the NBA."