Happy Thursday Nova Nation! We’re two days into the first of the FBI Court cases regarding corruption and payment in college basketball, and it feels like everyone’s still on their toes. Each day universities and former players are having their names dropped into the mix, and there’s probably more to come. While we already have heard most of these names, the difference now is there will likely be further questioning around the details of their involvement.
This flow of information isn’t coming from the FBI but rather the defense, who in this case is Addidas executive James Gatto. His lawyers aren’t saying he didn’t make payments, they’re arguing everyone was complicit and no fraud was committed. While that may be in violation of NCAA rules, if there’s no fraud then there’s no Federal crime. That means Gatto has everything to gain from naming as many schools, coaches, families, and players that he can prove were willing participants in order to give credit to his claims. That could be bad news for the schools and coaches named, as the NCAA recently made rule changes to allow them to use anything disclosed in these hearings when conducting their own investigations.
But what does all of that mean for Villanova? Neither the school nor anyone connected to the Wildcats were named on the witness list or have been mentioned so far. However, I won’t be surprised if at some point Villanova does get roped into this three ring circus.
I don’t think Jay Wright or anyone on his staff has broken any laws or committed any NCAA rules infractions, but there are still links to this case. The big one will be now freshman guard Jahvon Quinerly, who has been connected to former Arizona assistant Emmanuel “Book” Richardson for being offered money to attend Arizona. Quinerly did pick them over Villanova before decommiting and joining Wright’s team. While I don’t think anything that comes out will effect Quinerly’s eligibility this season, everyone wants to stay as far away from these court cases as possible.
The other mention of Villanova so far was on a list of expenses for Christian Dawkins, where he claimed to have dinner with “Villanova coaches”. While this probably amounts to nothing, it’s the only time Villanova has been mentioned by name in any of the known evidence.
All in all, Jay Wright runs one of the cleanest programs in the country and I’m not worried about anything negative coming out of this trial for the Wildcats. That said, there are a lot of schools and coaches that are on the hot seat right now, and I’m sure glad Villanova’s not one of them.
In other “news”, more Jay Wright interview podcasts, Quinerly could be a sleeper one-and-done, and everyone loves Dante Cunningham. Enjoy!
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