The resignation of Kobie Baker from his position as associate athletics director at the University of Alabama came after an internal investigation indicated that Baker may have been involved in a scheme to accept money in return for directing a UA player to sign with an Atlanta financial advisor after declaring for the NBA draft, The Tuscaloosa News has learned.
Alabama announced Baker’s resignation on Wednesday.
Although Baker was not charged with a crime in the recent FBI roundup of figures allegedly connected with corruption in college basketball, UA acted in the belief that he was involved in a meeting with Atlanta-based advisor Rashan Michel who was arrested on Tuesday as part of an FBI sting operation.
According to the charges released yesterday by the United States Attorney Office in the Southern District of New York, Michel met with an unidentified “school administrator” who accepted a $5,000 payment and arranged an August meeting with the “father of a highly regarded incoming freshman” from the Atlanta area, along with Michel and a cooperating federal witness listed as CW-1.
An additional $10,000 was allegedly given to Michel at that meeting, and was to be given to the staff member for his “influence” in steering the player.
The Tuscaloosa News learned Wednesday that UA believed Baker to be the “staff member” identified. The player’s father was not identified. Alabama recruited highly-rated freshman Collin Sexton from the Atlanta area last season.
The meeting was recorded on audio and video by the cooperating witness referred to in the FBI sting.
UA announced Baker’s resignation in an official release on Wednesday evening. Officials declined further comment on Wednesday night.
“Following yesterday’s reports from New York regarding a Federal investigation of intercollegiate athletics, The University of Alabama Department of Athletics immediately initiated an internal review of our men’s basketball operations,” UA director of athletics Greg Byrne said in the release. “As a result, we have accepted the resignation effective today of Kobie Baker, a men’s basketball administrator. Our review has not identified any NCAA or SEC rules violations nor the involvement of any other coach or staff member. We have notified both of the governing bodies of the actions we have taken. As always, we will continue to be proactive in our compliance efforts.”
Prior to joining Avery Johnson’s staff in 2015, Baker was the assistant director of enforcement for basketball development at the NCAA. He was also the associate director of amateurism certification at the NCAA.
Reach Cecil Hurt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 205-722-0225.