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Alabama and Miami emerge in FBI investigation fallout

Sam Robinson



A basketball is seen on the court wight he SEC logo during the second half of the NCAA college basketball Southeastern Conference tournament championship game between Kentucky and Arkansas, Sunday, March 15, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

[UPDATE]: Administrator Kobie Baker has reportedly admitted to being part of the FBI investigation, stating he was the person recognized as “Staff Member 1” in the report, according to AL.com.

Fallout from the FBI’s investigation has been extensive on Wednesday. Louisville forced Rick Pitino out after yet another scandal emerged during his run, while the Cardinals lost multiple highly touted recruits. Auburn lost a 5-star pledge as well.

News of shakeups and investigations continued Wednesday night, and two more programs are affected. Alabama and Miami did not have coaches arrested in this wide-sweeping scandal, but the universities are acting like there is reason to be concerned.

Alabama is conducting an internal review of its men’s basketball program and in initiating this investigation fired administrator Kobie Baker. The U.S. Attorney’s office has begun investigating Miami for possible recruiting violations as well.

Miami was preparing for this kind of action, with coach Jim Larranaga gathering his staff for a meeting Wednesday morning, according to Michele Kaufman of the Miami Herald. The school is believed to be “University-7” in the FBI’s report, and an unnamed assistant coach is implicated as “Coach-3”, Kaufman reports.

We have your playbook,” said New York FBI Assistant Director in Charge William Sweeney said of the overall investigation into many programs. “Our investigation is ongoing, and we are conducting additional interviews as we speak.”

Miami’s men’s basketball program battled through a scandal in recent years involving booster Nevin Shapiro, and it resulted in lost scholarships for the program — one that self-imposed sanctions as well.

Baker resigned after two years with the Crimson Tide. Interestingly, prior to his employment in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Baker worked as an NCAA assistant director of enforcement for basketball development. Policing recruiting violations was one of Baker’s duties while with the NCAA, according to his bio page on the Alabama athletics website.

Our review has not identified any NCAA or SEC rules violations nor the involvement of any other coach or staff member,” Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne said in a statement. “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.”

Beginning a sports-writing foray in his fourth state, Sam is a Kansas City product living in Cleveland. He’s worked as a full-time reporter and editor at daily newspapers, covering everything from Kansas City Chiefs training camp to national championship games to high school girls’ water polo. This occupation gave him the opportunity to win several awards and enabled treks to majestic locales like Mankato, Minn., Bakersfield, Calif., and Florence, Ala. In addition to the NFL, which Sam writes about for FanRag Sports and ProFootballRumors.com, he’s a fan of boxing, track and field and Nicolas Cage movies. He also covers high school sports for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. And he’s just as shocked as you are that the Royals have a bandwagon. You can find him on Twitter @SRobinson25.