Isaiah Whitehead named in FBI’s NCAA probe
According to a new Yahoo Sports report released on Feb. 23, former Seton Hall star Isaiah Whitehead received $26,136 from his former agency ASM Sports gave during this freshman year in 2014-15. The document was labeled “Loan to Players,” while another document said ASM was “setting up a payment plan” to allot $37,657 for Whitehead.
A statement from Seton Hall Athletics was released Friday afternoon.
“We are aware of the Yahoo! Sports report,” the statement read. “We have taken steps proactively to reach out to the NCAA and the BIG EAST Conference, and while we have not been contacted by investigators, we will be conducting our own internal review.”
Whitehead was among over 25 players outlined in the report who received money while still in college. As noted in the report and NCAA regulations, payments from agents to college players are a violation of the NCAA’s amateurism rules and could result in penalties.
Former NBA agent Andy Miller, president of ASM Sports, has become a central piece in the FBI’s investigation. The agency’s bank records show multiple former and future lottery picks received extra benefits of some kind, including Duke’s Wendell Carter Jr., Michigan State’s Miles Bridges and current Dallas Mavericks guard Dennis Smith Jr., who spent a year at N.C. State.
After his sophomore season at Seton Hall, Whitehead signed with Miller before being drafted to his hometown Brooklyn Nets, whom he remains with today. In December 2017, Whitehead cut ties with Miller and ASM Sports to sign with Roc Nation.
Tiny Morton, Whitehead’s high school coach and former Seton Hall assistant coach, also received a loan of $9,500, according to the report. Morton spent a year on the Seton Hall coaching staff during the 2014-15 season, putting the program’s relationship to the agency in question.
According to Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press, Seton Hall may be forced to forfeit wins from Whitehead’s two seasons at Seton Hall, the second of which resulted in a 25-win record, Big East Championship title and NCAA Tournament appearance. As for the Big East title, it is unclear whether that will be forfeited as that does not come under the NCAA’s jurisdiction. Seton Hall’s connection to the situation could also potentially deter future recruits to come to the program.
Andrew Lombardo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @lombardo_andrew.