As you may have heard, the FBI just dropped a bombshell on college basketball, which will have a dramatic affect on its landscape going forward.
For a refresher, the United States Department of Justice announced Tuesday that fraud and corruption charges have been brought against 10 people related to college basketball, including Oklahoma State's Lamont Evans, Auburn's Chuck Person, Arizona's Emanuel Richardson and USC's Tony Bland. Those are the only assistant coaches who have been charged thus far, though the FBI added that their investigation is still ongoing.
According to ESPN, the arrested coaches allegedly bribed recruits in an effort to steer them toward certain agents and financial advisors. James Gatto, the director of global sports marketing at Adidas, was also charged Tuesday, and his ties to Louisville could prove costly for the Cardinals and star recruit Brian Bowen.
Lamont Evans, Chuck Person & Tony Bland have all been suspended, per releases. Book Richardson was "relieved of all duties," per a source. https://t.co/G3npgnGUYQ— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) September 26, 2017
It could also be crippling for Louisville, as well as the other schools involved, on the recruiting trail, especially for the Cardinals, who already have a commitment from top-10 recruit Anfernee Simons in the Class of 2018.
Louisville is also strongly in the mix for top-10 recruits Moses Brown and Romeo Langford, so much that the Cardinals have been viewed as the favorites for both players.
Now, there’s a very real chance Langford and Brown eliminate Louisville, Simmons decommits, and all three players become up for grabs in 2018. It’s untelling where Simmons ends up, but Maryland figures to be the biggest benefactor for Brown. As for Langford, Indiana is now probably the favorite, though Vanderbilt and North Carolina have been making strong pushes.
Then there’s Arizona, who may have gotten a recruiting boost from Richardson in the recruitment of 2018 five-star point guard Jahvon Quinerly, who is committed to Arizona, but it’s hard to see that lasting now.
But Quinerly is just one of several elite recruits Arizona is in the mix for in 2018, which include R.J. Barrett, Bol Bol, Simisola Shittu and Nassir Little, all of whom are top-10 prospects.
Speaking of Bol, USC is another school strongly in the mix for the top-five recruit in every major service. I would go as far as to say Arizona and USC were, in some order, the top schools in his recruitment before today. Depending on how much trouble they’re in, that could shift Bol toward another school, like say, Kentucky.
Now, all of this is pure speculation at this point, but I think it’s safe to assume Louisville is in big trouble. It remains to be seen how hard Arizona and other schools will be affected by this, but you have to think the recruiting landscape in college basketball just got a massive shakeup heading into the fall signing period.