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Attorney speaks out on agency figure in college hoops case

Attorney speaks out on agency figure in college hoops case

By Liz Mullen, Staff Writer

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hristian Dawkins, the agency employee charged in the federal investigation of NCAA basketball, was never fired by prominent NBA agent Andy Miller as has been reported, Dawkins’ attorney said last week.

“Christian and Andy Miller parted ways mutually and continued to work together even after Christian left,” Steve Haney, Dawkins’ attorney, said last week. “There was no termination or animus at all between the two.”

Dawkins was one of 10 arrested by federal authorities in late September and faces a maximum of 200 years in prison. He is charged with bribery conspiracy, honest services fraud conspiracy, honest services fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, wire fraud, travel act conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy.

The other nine people arrested include four NCAA assistant coaches, financial adviser Munish Sood, and Jim Gatto, Adidas global sports marketing director. Dawkins had worked at Miller’s ASM Sports but was not employed there when he was arrested. The U.S. attorney’s office alleges he provided bribes to college coaches and families of basketball players.

Dawkins has pleaded not guilty, and Haney says many things that are being reported about him are not true.

“He’s not an agent, first of all,” Haney said. “He is being represented as being this high-powered basketball agent out of Atlanta, Ga. He’s never been an agent. He doesn’t even have a college degree. He couldn’t qualify to be an agent. He’s 24 years old. He lives with his mom and dad.”

Dawkins is the son of Lou Dawkins, an assistant basketball coach at Cleveland State. The elder Dawkins was a high school basketball coach in Saginaw, Mich., who mentored many successful players, including Warriors power forward Draymond Green.

Christian Dawkins attended junior college, but worked for ASM as “a runner,” Haney said, recruiting players and developing and maintaining relationships with players, before they parted ways in May.

As first reported by Yahoo in May, Dawkins, while an employee with ASM Sports, was alleged to have run up $42,000 in Uber charges on an unidentified NBA player’s credit card. The charges were discovered as a result of a National Basketball Players Association probe and Dawkins was fired as a result, according to the report, which quoted an NBPA memo about the investigation.

Haney said there was some dispute over a credit card but that Dawkins was not fired over it.

Miller and a spokesman for ASM Sports did not return emails about it.

NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts wrote in an email, “Once this [college basketball] investigation was announced, we chose to withhold any comment until after its conclusion. That would include the assertion by Dawkins’ lawyer that he continued to work with Miller.”

Asked for comment on reports that the FBI raided Miller’s offices after Dawkins was arrested and on the federal investigation into college basketball in general, Roberts wrote, “The NBPA is following this matter closely and will respond, appropriately, to any evidence that any person(s) within the jurisdiction of our supervisory authority was engaged in misconduct,” The NBPA has authority over certified agents but not runners.

Haney himself was a former college basketball player and was once an NBPA-certified agent. He worked for former NFL agent Ralph Cindrich in the early 2000s before becoming a district attorney and assistant attorney general in Michigan. He opened Haney Law Group in 2014.

Haney grew up in Michigan and worked for Magic Johnson as the general manager of Johnson’s professional basketball team in Sweden, the Magic M7, in the late 1990s. Haney has known Lou Dawkins for more than 20 years and was the first person Christian’s father called when Christian was arrested, Haney said.

Haney said he is shocked at the severity of the charges and the amount of possible prison time Dawkins is facing in the federal investigation.

“I am not saying what level of criminality you should or shouldn’t reach, but if you are going to go after an agent and make an example of an agent in basketball of committing federal crimes and being the mastermind of the biggest crooks in the history of college basketball, go get an agent,” Haney said. “Pick an agent, then. Don’t get a runner.”

The U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York declined to comment for this story.

> LAGARDÈRE SIGNS HILL: Lagardère Sports has signed Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill for representation.

Joel Segal, Lagardère Sports president of team sports, and Greg Barnett will represent Hill, who was a second-round pick in the 2014 draft.

He was formerly represented by Sportstars.

Liz Mullen can be reached at lmullen@sportsbusinessjournal.com. Follow her on Twitter @SBJLizMullen.


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