Christian Dawkins affirmed what his attorney said last fall: Tom Izzo and Michigan State basketball refused to pay for recruits.
The former middleman and aspiring sports agent at the center of the FBI investigation into corruption in college basketball on Wednesday during the federal trial in New York testified that Izzo would not give money to one-time recruit Brian Bowen.
“I wanted (Bowen) to go to Michigan State. Tom Izzo told me flat out they WEREN'T going to pay him,” Dawkins said on the witness stand, according to college basketball reporter Adam Zagoria via Twitter.
Interesting today on Tom Izzo and Michigan State:
Christian Dawkins testified today: "I wanted [Brian Bowen] to go to Michigan State. Tom Izzo told me flat out they WEREN'T going to pay him."
Bowen, after a long recruitment, eventually picked Louisville in June 2017 but never played after allegations arose that fall that the Cardinals and Adidas funneled money to his family. It eventually cost Rick Pitino his job at Louisville in October 2017.
Coaches from Arizona and LSU, among others, were caught on FBI wiretaps discussing payments for players. The trial for 25-year-old Dawkins and 45-year-old former Adidas basketball consultant Merl Code continues in New York.
Izzo said at Big Ten media day in October 2018 that he did not feel vindicated by being cleared and hopes college basketball can “clean up our act.”
Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo reacts on the sidelines during the first half of the Spartan's Final Four game against Texas Tech at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Saturday, April 06, 2019. (Photo: Kirthmon F. Dozier, Detroit Free Press)
“I’ve hoped this from Day 1, that coaches are held accountable and consequences are according to what they do,” Izzo said. “But I think players should be held accountable, I think parents should be held accountable. Accountable shouldn’t be a one-person deal – we all should be held accountable. And that’s what I’d like to see.”
Dawkins, a Saginaw native like Bowen, is one of three men who allegedly tried to steer recruits to schools for money, is accused of three counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
A February 2018 report by Yahoo! Sports in said emails seized during an FBI raid of Dawkins’ boss Andy Miller’s office mentioned a connection between Dawkins and MSU associate Dwayne Stephens. Yahoo also reported Dawkins had at least one dinner with Izzo that was listed on his FBI-seized expense reports.
Izzo said at the Big Ten media day in October that he and Stephens were implicated “because we had talked to the people” and were likely on FBI’s wiretaps.
Dawkins’ attorney Steve Haney, however, said earlier that month that, “Michigan State was one of the only schools that was not going to pay Brian Bowen to go there.”
Dawkins’ father, Lou, was a head basketball coach at Saginaw High for seven years, mentoring former MSU star Draymond Green there. Lou Dawkins’ younger son, Dorian, died from a heart condition while participating at an MSU basketball camp in 2009. He was 14.
Before moving into the pro basketball world, Christian Dawkins ran the AAU program Dorian’s Pride that included Bowen and Kyle Kuzma.
Lou Dawkins just completed his first year as an assistant coach at Cleveland State after working for former Izzo assistant Mark Montgomery at Northern Illinois for six years.
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