Reports: Nike’s EYBL Subpoenaed by the FBI in College Basketball Bribery and Fraud Investigation

Playaz Basketball's Trevon Duval loses possession
Dillon Mitchell (R) and Trevon Duval battle on the court in 2014 during the Nike EYBL Peach Jam final.
AP Images

Nike is now involved in the ongoing college basketball bribery and fraud scandal.

According to multiple reports, employees of Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League have been subpoenaed by the FBI in its ongoing investigation into bribery and fraud in college basketball. Darren Heitner, attorney and Forbes contributor, first reported the information via Twitter on Wednesday.

Court documents made public on Tuesday did not name the EYBL, Nike’s popular initiative aimed at developing the game of the country’s best high school ballers, but a former Nike employee who led the EYBL for the athletic giant, Merl Code, was listed. Code left Nike to join Adidas.

On Tuesday, Adidas’ director of global sports marketing Jim Gatto was among those arrested on charges of fraud, bribery and corruption following an FBI investigation dating back to 2015.

Assistant coaches named in the court documents include Chuck Person of Auburn, Lamont Evans of Oklahoma State, Emanuel “Book” Richardson of Arizona and Tony Bland of the University of Southern California. The coaches allegedly took thousands of dollars in exchange for getting student athletes to commit to certain schools or use the services of specific sports agents and financial advisers, according to a complaint filed by the FBI.

After the court documents became public on Tuesday, the University of Louisville — an Adidas-sponsored school — placed head coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich on unpaid leave on Wednesday. Multiple reports also state a Louisville player has been suspended indefinitely and isn’t allowed to practice or work out with the team.

Aside from Gatto, Code and the coaches, other people named in the documents are former member of ASM Sports’ management team Christian Dawkins; an AAU team program director, Jonathan Brad Augustine; investment adviser Munish Sood; and Rashan Michel, a former NBA and NCAA official, and founder of Thompson Bespoke Clothing.