University of Alabama basketball player Collin Sexton was among several players named in a Yahoo Sports story published Friday that linked several of the nation’s top players and basketball programs to potential rules violations in connection with an ongoing FBI corruption probe.
However, it was not immediately clear if the mention of Sexton, who was cited as a player who “had a meal or whose family members had a meal” with Christian Dawkins, an indicted participant in what the FBI described as a “bribery scheme,” represented additional information beyond the November investigation that resulted in a one-game suspension for Sexton and the firing of associate athletics director Kobie Baker. Alabama is attempting to determine if there was any new, unreported potential violation in addition to the one uncovered in November, when Sexton’s father met with Baker, Atlanta-based “financial advisor Rashan Michel and a confidential FBI informant.
Alabama head coach Avery Johnson said Friday that he “anticipates” that Sexton will play in Saturday’s game against Arkansas “at this time.” He added that he could not comment further on Alabama’s ongoing review.
Sexton was a visible participant at Alabama’s Friday practice. The freshman guard, has played in 25 games this season and is Alabama’s leading scorer at 18.4 points per game.
Alabama withheld Sexton from the season opener against Memphis before his reinstatement for the Crimson Tide’s second game. TideSports previously reported that the Sextons paid restitution for a meal before he was reinstated in November.
The Yahoo Sports report, written by Pat Forde and Pete Thamel, indicated that several prominent college basketball programs could be involved in potential violations.
Yahoo Sports said its reporters “viewed hundreds of pages of documents from the years-long probe that had federal authorities monitoring multiple targets and intercepting more than 4,000 calls across 330 days, providing a clear-eyed view into the pervasive nature of the game’s underground economy” in violations committed by agent Andy Miller’s ASM Sports Agency.
In the midst of the Yahoo furor, the Crimson Tide is preparing for an important 5 p.m. Saturday home game against the Arkansas Razorbacks, a team that, like Alabama, is fighting for SEC Tournament positioning and, more importantly, a possible NCAA Tournament bid. Also like Alabama, Mike Anderson’s Arkansas team is looking to bounce back from a disappointing loss, in its case an 87-72 home drubbing by Kentucky.
“We’ve been below average on the road this year, but a lot of teams in our league have not played well on the road, which is why we are all sort of bunched up together,” Johnson said. “A lot of our inconsistencies are correctable. Hopefully we’ll get back home in front of a packed house and get back to playing (like) we were before we embarked on this last road trip.”
Arkansas has two of the top four scorers in the SEC in its backcourt in senior guards Jaylen Barford (18.4 ppg) and Daryl Macon (17.4 ppg). The Razorbacks also feature one of the league’s top freshmen in 6-foot-11 freshman Daniel Gafford.
Reach Cecil Hurt at email@example.com or 205-722-0225.