When the FBI was involved in a probe of college basketball through the Adidas brand, it shocked everyone around the sport.
Multiple teams and players were identified, whether or not their program was even represented by Adidas at the time, and many individuals were arrested on corruption and fraud charges in connection to the scandal.
It was and still is a stain on the game and the NCAA, but there may be information on a new scandal involving Nike. Earlier today on Twitter, Michael Avenatti, most recently known for being the attorney of Stormy Daniels, tweeted out that there will be a press conference held tomorrow morning regarding a scandal involving the Nike brand on the high school and college basketball levels.
Tmrw at 11 am ET, we will be holding a press conference to disclose a major high school/college basketball scandal perpetrated by @Nike that we have uncovered. This criminal conduct reaches the highest levels of Nike and involves some of the biggest names in college basketball.— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) March 25, 2019
He says that it involves, “some of the biggest names in college basketball,” and that it, “reaches the highest levels of Nike.”
That ‘could’ have had serious implications all across the landscape of college basketball, as Nike represents some of the biggest programs in college basketball, including the Duke Blue Devils, North Carolina Tar Heels (Jordan Brand), Virginia Cavaliers, Michigan State Spartans, Tennessee Volunteers, Kentucky Wildcats and many more.
However, multiple media reports are coming out that Avenatti has now been arrested for trying to extort Nike for million of dollars.
JUST IN: Federal prosecutors announce charges against @MichaelAvenatti, alleging he tried to extort Nike, threatening to release damaging about the company, if Nike didn't agree to pay millions to him and a client.— Steven Portnoy (@stevenportnoy) March 25, 2019
The complaint alleges Avenatti said he'd refrain from holding a press conference, if Nike paid his client $1.5 million & agreed to "retain" him to conduct an "internal investigation," for which he and a co-conspirator would be paid "at a minimum, between $15 and $25 million."— Steven Portnoy (@stevenportnoy) March 25, 2019
Needless to say, we will all have to wait and see if anything actually ever comes of this, as it looks like whatever ‘dirt’ Avenatti had is not going to be uncovered, if it ever even existed at all.
Just another day in college sports.