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Kentucky Basketball: 2 Wildcats linked to FBI probe

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The players were linked to Christian Dawkins.

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UPDATE

Marvin Hagans, the father of Ashton Hagans, has denied any involvement with Christian Dawkins.


This hasn’t been the best week for Kentucky Basketball.

As if things weren’t bad enough as a result of Tuesday’s blowout loss to Duke, two Wildcats have been linked to the FBI investigation into college basketball corruption, according to ESPN.

One of them is former Wildcats forward Jarred Vanderbilt. The other is current point guard Ashton Hagans. The two were targeted by Christian Dawkins, a runner for ASM Sports.

Here is an excerpt of the report involving the Kentucky players:

According to the email, Dawkins planned to give Vanderbilt’s family $30,000 in travel expenses to watch him play for the Wildcats last season, plus his father was going to get a $25,000 signing bonus when his son turned pro.

”Brother Jamal and dad will also be a part of the deal, and receive 25% of our income on all sides,” Dawkins wrote.

Dawkins proposed giving Vanderbilt a $100,000 line of credit and $25,000 advance on his marketing revenue if he was projected as a lottery pick at the end of the 2017-18 season.

Dawkins also planned to recruit 2019 point guard prospect Ashton Hagans of Cartersville, Georgia, who reclassified to the 2018 class and is a freshman at Kentucky. According to the email, Dawkins wanted to pay Hagans $2,000 per month from October 2017 to October 2018, then $3,000 monthly through April 2020.

However, at no point does it say the players agreed to these payments, but just being linked to Christian Dawkins and this investigation is quite worrisome. There was never even a reported meeting between them, so it’s possible this was merely Dawkins wanting to target them but it never coming to fruition.

It’s also worth noting that a similar situation happened last year with Kevin Knox being linked to Dawkins, only for it to turn out to be nothing.

Still, it’s going to be interesting to see how Kentucky handles this going forward with Hagans, who was the team’s starting point guard in Game 1 vs. Duke. It’s possible Kentucky holds him out Friday against Southern Illinois while digging deeper into the matter, but that’s mere speculation at this point.

The report also says that Dawkins was targeting 2019 recruit James Wiseman, who Kentucky is heavily pursuing.

While nothing here appears to be enough to get Kentucky in trouble with the NCAA, there is still plenty more yet to come out.

Be sure to read the full report here.