Sports agent charged in federal bribery probe linked to ex-Card Jaylen Johnson
While the connection with Johnson is not cited in criminal complaints, it shows an additional link between Christian Dawkins and the U of L basketball program.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- One of the men charged in a federal probe into college basketball recruiting, Christian Dawkins, has ties to former University of Louisville player Jaylen Johnson.
Dawkins was the director of the Dorian’s Pride AAU basketball team in Michigan in the summer of 2013. One of his star players was Johnson, a 6-foot-9 forward from Ypsilanti, Mich.
On Tuesday, Dawkins was named in federal criminal complaints as one of the men who allegedly participated in a scheme to funnel money from the Adidas shoe company to U of L recruits.
While the connection with Johnson is not cited in the criminal complaints, it shows an additional link between Dawkins, who worked for a sports management firm, and the U of L basketball program.
In fact, Dawkins was caught on tape talking about plans to send money to a prospective U of L recruit during an FBI sting operation in a Las Vegas hotel room in late July, according to court records. An FBI agent said in an affidavit that Dawkins had “dealt with coaches at University-6,” or U of L, about recruiting another player, who matches the description of freshman Brian Bowen.
As a high school freshman in Saginaw, Mich., Bowen planned to play for Dawkins and Dorian's Pride, according to a 2013 blog post by basketball writer Frank Burlison. It's unclear, however, whether that happened.
Also at the Las Vegas meeting, according to federal documents, was an assistant Louisville basketball coach who has not been named.
In a story published in the Ames (Iowa) Tribune in August 2013, Dawkins noted that Johnson was considering attending U of L.
“From talking to Jaylen, there’s probably no leaders at this point,” Dawkins said. “I think everyone is just working and trying to jockey for position.”
The indictments don’t name the company where Dawkins worked. But he joined ASM Sports of Englewood, New Jersey in 2015, according to the company’s website.
Dawkins is the only defendant with a federal public defender, meaning he could not afford a private attorney. The public defender, New York Attorney Jennifer Brown, did not return multiple requests for comment.
He was released on a $100,000 unsecured bond and ordered to surrender his travel documents and have no contact with any co-defendants or anyone from ASM Sports.
Dawkins was indicted on four counts of wire fraud. He fired by sports agency ASM Sports for using an NBA player's credit card to run up approximately $42,000 in unauthorized charges in less than a year, according to Yahoo.
The FBI says Dawkins and three others arranged for payments of $250,000 to three different high school basketball players.
This story will be updated.
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