On Wednesday, a report surfaced that linked former Kentucky Wildcats forward Jarred Vanderbilt and current point guard Ashton Hagans to Christian Dawkins, who is one of the central figures in the FBI’s ongoing investigation into college hoops corruption.
On Thursday, the University of Kentucky issued a statement about the report, which detailed ‘planned’ payments from Dawkins to the families of Vanderbilt and Hagans, though there is no proof that those ever took place, nor is there any proof that those players or their families made contact with Dawkins.
“We remain committed to compliance in all facets of our athletics department,” a UK spokesman said. “All of our student-athletes undergo a thorough review process to ensure their eligibility. With the full cooperation of our student-athletes and their families, the compliance department works closely with the NCAA Eligibility Center and the Southeastern Conference throughout the entire amateurism certification process. At this time there is no change in the eligibility of any of our current or former students.”
Again, at no point in the report does it say the players or their families agreed to these payments, but just being linked to Christian Dawkins and this investigation is going to draw attention. 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, similar to the situation happened last year with Kevin Knox being linked to Dawkins, only for it to turn out to be nothing.
For now, it looks like this is going to be a whole lotta nothing as well.
Even in the event that something did turn up in this, Vanderbilt only appeared in 14 games during last season’s Sweet 16 run, while Hagans has started just one game this season, so UK would be able to minimize any damage that would be caused if either player had legitimate eligibility concerns.