UK Officials Respond To Report That School Is Tied To NCAA Scandal
Bank records and other expense reports that are part of a federal probe into college basketball list a wide range of impermissible payments from agents to at least two dozen players or their relatives, according to documents obtained by Yahoo Sports.
Among those who were listed as receiving loans were Nerlens Noel and Bam Adebayo, who both played at the University of Kentucky, and Brian Bowen, who committed tothe University of Louisville but has since transferred to South Carolina, and former U of L player Juan Palacios.
Current UK player Kevin Knox is listed among players who had a meal with an associate of former NBA agent Andy Miller.
UK said it is conducting an internal investigation and will cooperate with any other investigations.
“As I said to our Board of Trustees this morning, we learned late last night of a report from Yahoo Sports that provides more details regarding documents related to the federal investigation of potential NCAA violations," said UK President Eli Capilouto in a written statement Friday.
"We began immediately to conduct our due diligence, and we will cooperate fully with any appropriate authorities. That is our commitment as a university to our Board of Trustees and to the Commonwealth. I will keep you informed of any developments should they arise in this matter.”Head Coach John Calipari also issued a statement. Calipari denied any involvement with Miller.
“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.”
UK Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart said in a written statement Friday that the university was aware of the report but has had no contact with federal officials or the NCAA regarding the matter.
"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," Barnhart said. "We will be conducting an internal review. At this time, we have no further comment.”
Yahoo said the documents obtained in discovery during the investigation link current players including Michigan State's Miles Bridges, Duke's Wendell Carter and Alabama's Collin Sexton to potential benefits that would be violations of NCAA rules.
According to the report, players and family members allegedly received cash, entertainment and travel expenses from Miller and his agency, ASM Sports.
NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement the allegations "if true, point to systematic failures that must be fixed and fixed now if we want college sports in America."
This story has been updated.
WFPL's Rick Howlett contributed to this story.