Rueb: Rhode Island Connection in Federal Investigation of College Basketball Corruption Case

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Yahoo reporters Pat Forde and Pete Thamel dropped a bomb Friday morning with an exclusive story that details the federal investigation of corruption involving agents and NCAA basketball players and coaches.

While most of the names involve high-profile players from big-name programs, there is a Rhode Island name on the list.

Providence fans can breathe easy; it’s not Kris Dunn. University of Rhode Island fans haven’t had a player drafted in quite some time, so no worry there. Brown? Bryant? You’re good.

The RI Connection 

The connection to the Ocean State comes by the way of Erik Murphy, who is from South Kingstown, went to high school at St. Mark’s in Massachusetts and played four years at Florida before being drafted by the Chicago Bulls in the second round in 2013.

His inclusion in the report is for – get this – accepting a whopping $260 loan payment from ASM Sports, the agency he eventually signed with before being drafted by the Bulls in 2013. Murphy currently plays overseas.

The report centers around bank records from the federal investigation into “the underbelly of college basketball” and show expense reports and balance sheets from “former NBA agent Andy Miller, his former associate and his agency, ASM Sports.”

There some very familiar names on the list and some substantial payouts. Murphy’s name is on a list under “Loan to Players” for the $260. Murphy signed with ASM before the draft and is still listed as one of their clients on the agency’s website.

(http://www.asmsports.com/asm-family/erik-murphy)

The report details bigger-name players and doesn’t get into Murphy or any other of the lesser-name players who received lower payouts. Murphy tweeted about the report Friday morning and joked about being included on the list for accepting the $260 payment for a pre-draft workout after he graduated in a thread started by Luke Bonner, a former college player at West Virginia and the University of Massachusetts.

https://twitter.com/e_murphy33/status/967035972578873344

This is probably the least scandalous corruption case ever involving a Rhode Islander; $260 to a college kid covers a really fun weekend and the government isn’t chasing players for the loans as much as it is the agents to gave them out and the schools who may or may not have known players were receiving them. Apparently they don’t teach corruption in South County as well as they do on Capitol Hill because when compared to the rest of this list, Murphy didn’t have enough to get a PlayStation. 

Corruption

Since some of the players named in the report are still playing, it’s going to cause a disaster with eligibility and there’s a good chance teams that make the NCAA Tournament this season will face some sort of sanction later on. Murphy is a pro and has been out of college since 2013, but Florida did make the Elite 8 his last three seasons. Perhaps the NCAA could strip those appearances from the record book but for $260 for a post-grad, pre-draft workout seems unlikely, although with the NCAA stupidity anything is possible.

Murphy’s alleged loan also isn’t the lowest listed on the sheet – that honor belongs to Carlos Delfino, who currently plays in Spain. He’s listed as being given a $71.39 load which is strange because he’s been a professional player since 1998. Current G-League player Kendall Gray also came in under Murphy, having allegedly received $171.25. Gray played college ball at Delaware State and also signed with ASM out of college.

The report is a terrific read if you’re into college basketball.

https://sports.yahoo.com/exclusive-federal-documents-detail-sweeping-potential-ncaa-violations-involving-high-profile-players-schools-103338484.html?soc_src=social-sh&soc_trk=tw

Eric Rueb
Eric Rueb is a freelance journalist. For more from Rueb on sports, entertainment and him living the #DadLife, follow him on Twitter at @EricRueb. Send him email at ericrueb@yahoo.com.
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