Notes from Oregon’s internal review of basketball recruiting practices show Oregon coaches were in contact with Christian Dawkins, one of three men convicted last month of conspiring to orchestrate under-the-table payments to the family of basketball recruit Brian Bowen.
The documents, provided to The Register-Guard in response to an open records request, contain a spreadsheet of key figures in the college basketball corruption trial. Next to Dawkins’ name is a handwritten note: “Talked to us about Bowen (his kid).”
The notes indicate Dawkins wanted assurances of playing time for Bowen but don’t mention any financial demands. Jurors in the corruption trial were shown video of Dawkins referencing an “astronomical offer” from Oregon but saying Bowen wouldn’t play for the Ducks because “we couldn’t control him there.”
Dawkins and two other men, Adidas executives Jim Gatto and Merl Code, were convicted of funneling $100,000 to Bowen’s family in exchange for his commitment to Louisville, an Adidas school. Oregon coaches seemed to be aware of the Adidas connection. “Knowing what we know — Bowen wasn’t going to a non-Adidas school,” the notes say.
Notes from the review are dated October 2017, shortly after the arrest of 10 men in connection with an FBI probe of college basketball corruption. Oregon has said the review found “no evidence that the UO had used monetary offerings to prospective student-athletes or their family members to entice them to attend the UO.” Coach Dana Altman also has denied the allegation that his staff offered money to Bowen.
Oregon coaches answered “no” when asked if they’d ever been approached by an agent, financial adviser or shoe company representative for the purposes of recruiting a player. They also answered “no” when asked if they’d ever offered cash inducements to recruits or their families.
No phone or text message records were included in documents released by the university, leaving questions about the extent and nature of coaches' communications with Dawkins. The Oregonian reported Wednesday that Oregon assistant Tony Stubblefield exchanged 20 phone calls with Dawkins in May and June of 2017, around the time Bowen was making a visit to Eugene.
"In the course of this review, contact with Mr. Dawkins as a representative of a family of a prospective student-athlete was acknowledged and discussed, so there was no need for any additional review of phone or text logs," athletic department spokesman Jimmy Stanton wrote in an email.
Documents show no discussion of Stubblefield's phone calls with Dawkins. They do show Stubblefield was questioned about his relationship with Rashan Michel, an Atlanta suit designer accused of bribing assistant coaches to steer players to various agents, advisers and to Michel himself.
Stubblefield described Michel as a "suit guy, nothing more” and provided a receipt for two suits he purchased from Michel’s Thompson Bespoke Clothiers in 2014.
As part of the review, Oregon coaches and players signed ethical conduct agreements acknowledging their responsibility to cooperate with NCAA investigations and to adhere to NCAA rules.