While many were shocked, plenty of people were thinking “Finally,” after Rick Pitino got booted from Louisville after an FBI probe that involved the school’s basketball program. The arrest of four college coaches, and an adidas exec, was for bribery, and new report reveals that the feds also have their eyes on Nike.
Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League is being investigated by the FBI.
Sources familiar with the investigation confirmed to ESPN and ABC News that Nike’s grassroots basketball division, referred to as the Elite Youth Basketball League, has been served with a subpoena, as federal prosecutors in New York and the FBI dig deeper into what they’ve called the “dark underbelly” of college basketball.
When reached on Thursday morning, a Nike spokesman had no comment. The company previously issued a statement when news of the case broke saying it “believes in fair and ethical play, both in business and sports, and strongly opposes any form of manipulation.”
The EYBL is not named in the case, but a former employee who ran it, Merl Code, is one of the defendants.
Some of the nations top AAU squad and blue-chip talent participate in the Nike EYBL.
In the case involving Louisville, money from adidas to the tune of $100K was allegedly routed to the family of a blue-chip basketball prospect to insure that he signed with the team. Naturally that leads to the question of whether or not other athletic brands were supplying bags to the family’s of elite prospects to secure their services?
All it takes is one snitch.
Photo: Nike Basketball