BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The FBI is reportedly investigating at least two dozen current and former college basketball players, including a former University of Maryland men’s basketball player, who allegedly accepted thousands of dollars from a prominent sports agent.
Diamond Stone — who played in College Park during the 2015-16 season before turning pro — is among the listed players reported by Yahoo Sports who are accused of taking money from NBA agent Andy Miller, which is a violation of NCAA rules.
Stone is accused of taking $14,000 from Miller.
Players from other dominant basketball programs, including Duke’s Wendell Carter and Michigan State’s Miles Bridges, are also on the list.
A CEO of a local sports public relations firm says he’s not surprised.
“A lot of these kids come from situations where they don’t have money and their families don’t have money and so it’s very easy to be enticed with money,” said John Maroon of Maroon PR.
College sports is a multi-million dollar industry and many of its fans believe the student athletes should get a larger piece of that financial revenue that they are bringing in.
“I don’t see why that college players if they are bringing in that type of revenue shouldn’t be able to be afforded some type of stipend,” said Roderick Hart of Howard County.
“Now everyone says they are getting scholarships, or they are getting their tuition, room and board and everything else paid for, but I think they can be taken care of a little better,” said Brian Hartlove of Howard County.
Mark Turgeon, head coach of Maryland men’s basketball, released the following statement:
“We are extremely disappointed, and we will fully cooperate with any investigation. I do not have a relationship with Andy Miller or anyone from his agency, and at no time have I ever had a conversation with Andy Miller or his agency regarding any Maryland basketball player.”
Maroon says as NBA agents woo promising players, college coaches could be blindsided.
“I think the reputation of coach Turgeon that he is a pretty honest and honorable guy, really straight shooter and I think there is a very distinct possibility that he did not know about this,” he said.
NCAA’s president Mark Emmert responded to the allegations and said, in part, that he is
“completely committed to making transformational changes to the game and ensuring all involved in college basketball do so with integrity.”