Yahoo! report links UK players to possible NCAA violations

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Three University of Kentucky basketball players are named in documents released in the ongoing federal investigation into a pay-for-play scandal in college sports. Coach John Calipari and Mitch Barnhart have responded following the article.

On Friday, Yahoo Sports published some of the documents relating to NBA agent Andy Miller and his associate Christian Dawkins, of ASM Sports.

Former UK players Edrice "Bam" Adebayo and Nerlens Noel, and current UK freshman Kevin Knox are listed in the documents.

From the report:

A listing that refers to "BAM" for $12,000 is later identified in the documents as Edrice "Bam" Adebayo, who would go on to play at Kentucky in 2016-17. He did not sign with ASM. There's a later reference to Adebayo that says he received $36,500. "Bad loan," reads the document.

The report goes on to list players or their families who had meetings or meals with Dawkins. Knox is one of the players listed. Again, an excerpt from the report:

Additional Dawkins expense reports list meals and meetings with players or their families while in college or high school, and before they turned pro. While small amounts, these could be categorized as extra benefits under NCAA rules. It appears Dawkins paid for the meals, which could be an important distinction.

The case is what brought down former University of Louisville head coach Rick Pitino, who was fired in October.

NCAA President Mark Emmert released the following statement:

“These allegations, if true, point to systematic failures that must be fixed and fixed now if we want college sports in America. Simply put, people who engage in this kind of behavior have no place in college sports. They are an affront to all those who play by the rules. Following the Southern District of New York's indictments last year, the NCAA Board of Governors and I formed the independent Commission on College Basketball, chaired by Condoleezza Rice, to provide recommendations on how to clean up the sport. With these latest allegations, it's clear this work is more important now than ever. The Board and I are completely committed to making transformational changes to the game and ensuring all involved in college basketball do so with integrity. We also will continue to cooperate with the efforts of federal prosecutors to identify and punish the unscrupulous parties seeking to exploit the system through criminal acts.”

Later Friday morning Coach John Calipari released a statement:

“I have no relationship with Andy Miller or any of his associates. Neither my staff nor I utilized any agent, including Andy Miller or any of his associates, to provide any financial benefits to a current or former Kentucky student-athlete. We will cooperate fully with the appropriate authorities.”

Calipari also held a news conference leading up to the university's game against Missouri Saturday night. The first questions were directed toward the report, where Calipari said he knew nothing more than those who read the Yahoo! Sports report.

He later said he is disappointed "for all of basketball" following the article.

The reports have also captured the attention of Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart who also released a statement in regards to the article.

“We are aware of the report today by Yahoo! Sports. We have not been contacted by the FBI or the NCAA, but since learning of the report, we have reached out to both the NCAA and our league office. We will be conducting an internal review. At this time, we have no further comment.”

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