COLLEGE PARK – Two notable NBA players were involved in an extensive NCAA investigation after allegedly accepting money to play for their respective schools according to documents obtained by Yahoo Sports on Feb. 23. Former 2017 No. 1 overall NBA Draft pick Markelle Fultz (Philadelphia 76ers) and 2016 NBA draft selection Diamond Stone (Round […]
COLLEGE PARK – Two notable NBA players were involved in an extensive NCAA investigation after allegedly accepting money to play for their respective schools according to documents obtained by Yahoo Sports on Feb. 23.
Former 2017 No. 1 overall NBA Draft pick Markelle Fultz (Philadelphia 76ers) and 2016 NBA draft selection Diamond Stone (Round 2, Pick 40) graced their presence on a list of at least a dozen players linked to the scandal.
“These allegations, if true, point to systematic failures that must be fixed and fixed now if we want college sports in America,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement Friday. “Simply put, people who engage in this kind of behavior have no place in college sports. They are an affront to all those who play by the rules.”
Fultz was the star point guard at DeMatha Catholic High School starting off as a junior varsity role player who evolved into one of the best players in the country.
The Upper Marlboro native decided to play for the University of Washington on August 21, 2015, following a stellar career for the Stags where he averaged more than 16 points per game, nearly eight rebounds per contest and more than four assists per game.
Fultz averaged more than 23 points per game and almost six assists and rebounds per game in one season for the Huskies before declaring for the 2017 NBA Draft.
However, the former Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) Player of the Year is now in hot water after reports claim that Fultz has allegedly received more than $10,000 while playing for the Huskies.
“I have no thoughts at all,” DeMatha Head Coach Mike Jones said of the federal investigation involving Fultz amongst other players. “Markelle is a great kid and I don’t believe any of that. That is my comment.
“Some guys I would consider them literal family members and some of them, they are really close to their families. It varies to kid to kid. As far as that young man, I don’t believe any of that and he is one of the best kids I have been around.”
Stone was regarded as one of the best NBA prospects to play in College Park. He averaged 12.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks during his only season for the Terrapins.
The Chicago Bulls most recently signed Stone on July 31, 2017, but he was waived later that year in October. Despite the hype, Stone never amounted to his potential and only played seven games in the NBA. Fultz has been battling with injuries during his current rookie campaign and only appeared in four games averaging just six points per game.
Based on the potentially incriminating documents that Yahoo released, Stone allegedly received more than $14,000 during his freshman campaign at Maryland.
“Obviously, I was disappointed that a former player was acknowledged in this report,” University of Maryland Head Coach Mark Turgeon said of Diamond Stone allegedly receving funds during his freshamn year. “I’ve always prided myself in doing things the right way. I’ve done that my whole career. I have zero relationship with that agent or that agency; I wouldn’t know him if he walked in the room today. And we will cooperate any way we can with the investigation.”
Of those documents, payments are listed for numerous colleges and high school players in the forms of loans, advances, entertainment, travel expenses and even monies paid to prospect’s families revealed on balance sheets.
Former NBA agent Andy Miller and his former associate Christian Dawkins, of his agency ASM Sports are allegedly linked to the documents and bank statements, which are under federal investigations that directly violate NCAA rules and regulations.
The NCAA is already reeling after former Louisville University Men’s Basketball Head Coach Rick Pitino was involved in a recruiting scandal leading to his termination in October of last year. Also, Michigan State Univesity has also been the center of attention of sexual assault allegations.
Until more information is released, the NCAA will be under scrutiny and will have to address a firestorm of questions and grievances regarding any more details linked to the investigation.