FBI Wiretap Audio Discussing Nassir Little, Brian Bowen Jr., More Revealed

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistOctober 26, 2018

The Black Team's Nassir Little #11 in action against the White Team during the Jordan Brand Classic high school basketball game, Sunday, April 8, 2018, in Brooklyn. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
Gregory Payan/Associated Press

Outside The Lines has obtained federal wiretap audio, text messages, hidden camera video and fraudulent invoices from the FBI's investigation into college basketball's corruption, according to ESPN's Mark Schlabach and Paula Lavigne.

Nassir Little and Brian Bowen Jr. are among the players at the center of attention, with Rick Pitino, Louisville and Arizona also involved in the conversations. 

Full transcripts and audio can be viewed on ESPN.com.

Earlier this week, Schlabach reported Adidas executive James Gatto, former Adidas consultant Merl Code and Christian Dawkins were all found guilty on felony charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud after being accused of providing recruits with impermissible benefits to incentivize them to sign with Adidas schools.

All three were involved in multiple recordings.

Little, a 5-star recruit and North Carolina commit, was the topic of one such recording, as Code and Gatto discussed how much it would take to land him at Miami. Here's a snippet of Code, via ESPN (note: all transcripts may contain language NSFW):

"So, here's the deal. Kid—there's a kid named Nassir Little who's top...five or six in the country who Larranaga and those guys really want. The problem is, Arizona's offered the kid 150, and we're trying to keep him from going to one of their schools. 

[...]

"Uh, again, it doesn't have to be all in one lump sum. I can, I can make it work if you're saying you'll do it. I can tell them that, you know, its installments, and we'll figure out how to get it to you, when, where, how, blah, blah, blah."

Meanwhile, the recordings all provide a detailed look at what helped Louisville initially land former 5-star recruit Brian Bowen Jr., who wound up transferring to South Carolina. Dawkins was extremely blunt with Bowen's father in one particular conversation, per ESPN: "You about to get money. You about to, you about to get some racks."

Dawkins later discussed specifics with Jill Bailey, per ESPN:

"Then August 25th, Louisville needs to get five grand in an account for the big kid from Florida, that Brad Augustine, is a guy who Jeff met him and Marty met and he's going to be expecting August 25th, five grand for the big kid that Louisville is trying to get."

Former Adidas consultant T.J. Gassnola also mentioned in an August 10, 2017, conversation with Dawkins that Pitino called Gatto and $100,000 was given to Bowen. Pitino was fired in October 2017 in the wake of the scandal.

Financial advisor Munish Sood told Dawkins in one conversation on July 13, 2017, that making cash drop-offs to people he didn't know made him "nervous" and that he did not want to repeat that sort of activity in the future.

According to the New York Times' Marc Tracy, sentencing for Gatto, Code and Dawkins has been set for March 5. Gatto will reportedly appeal Wednesday's guilty verdict.

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