Kentucky basketball: John Calipari says Kevin Knox likely to play against Missouri

Fletcher Page
Courier Journal
Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari reaches to play during the first half against the Missouri Tigers at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Missouri, on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018.

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kevin Knox will likely play Saturday against Missouri, Kentucky coach John Calipari said during a press conference Friday. 

Knox and two former Wildcats, Bam Adebayo and Nerlens Noel, surfaced Friday in a report published by Yahoo Sports showing potential financial improprieties involving former NBA agent Andy Miller. 

"At this point, I believe so," Calipari said when asked if Knox would play. "I mean, if there's something that I don't know ..." Calipari didn't finish his sentence and turned to look at DeWayne Peevy, UK deputy director of athletics. 

"Like I said, once again, there's nothing additional to what you already know," Peevy said. 

Calipari said he had not met with Knox or discussed the Yahoo Sports report with his team. 

The documents obtained by Yahoo Sports include financial spreadsheets from Miller's ASM Sports agency. They also reportedly detail improper payments — and potential violation of NCAA regulations — involving current and former players at Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, Michigan State and other schools.

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Knox, a star freshman forward, was listed among players who met with or had meals with Christian Dawkins, who worked for Miller's ASM Sports agency. Former Wildcats forward Bam Adebayo received payments for $12,000 and $36,000, according to the documents. And former Kentucky center Nerlens Noel, who played one season at UK from 2012-13, was listed as receiving a loan totaling $4,350. 

“I have no relationship with Andy Miller or any of his associates," Calipari said in a statement Friday morning. "Neither my staff nor I utilized any agent, including Andy Miller or any of his associates, to provide any financial benefits to a current or former Kentucky student-athlete. We will cooperate fully with the appropriate authorities.”

Documents obtained by federal agents from Miller's office in September have given the government a detailed look at payments made to the families of college basketball players, according to Yahoo Sports. Miller has not been arrested or charged, but he did relinquish his status as a certified NBA agent after the September raid.

Prior to that, Miller had been considered one of the more powerful agents in professional basketball. Those previously represented by Miller included NBA stars Kevin Garnett, Kristaps Porzingis, Kyle Lowry and Dwight Howard. Noel left Miller and ASM in 2016 after three years of representation. 

The FBI complaint described Dawkins as “a business manager” who had been fired by Miller’s firm in May 2017 and was looking to fund and start his own sports management company. Dawkins, who allegedly facilitated payments in exchange for agreements that players would retain his services Dawkins upon turning professional, was one of 10 people federal prosecutors charged with fraud in September. He pleaded not guilty in federal court in November.

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto said the school "began immediately to conduct our due diligence" when notified late Thursday night the report was set to publish. 

“As I said to our Board of Trustees this morning, we learned late last night of a report from Yahoo Sports that provides more details regarding documents related to the federal investigation of potential NCAA violations," Capilouto said in a statement. "We began immediately to conduct our due diligence, and we will cooperate fully with any appropriate authorities. That is our commitment as a university to our Board of Trustees and to the Commonwealth. I will keep you informed of any developments should they arise in this matter.”

Fletcher Page: fpage@courierjournal.com; Twitter: @FletcherPage. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: www.courier-journal.com/fletcherp.  

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