Photo by Emma Mcintyre, Getty Images for Apple
This FBI pay for play scandal is completely changing the landscape of college basketball and it could have an immediate impact on not only this season but the 2018 recruiting class.
The news broke tonight that the FBI has wire-tapped conversations with Arizona head coach Sean Miller discussing a $100,000 payment to secure DeAndre Ayton’s commitment, a former five-star, and current Arizona Wildcat. The reports match the same amount that Brian Bowen received to commit to Louisville last summer, so it’s clear that there was a benchmark amount for certain players.
The news about Miller and Arizona appears to have one top recruit thinking about his future, as Shareef O’Neal tweeted out the following message after the report surfaced Friday night.
Lol don’t want to be involved with that ????✌?
— Shareef O’Neal (@SSJreef) February 24, 2018
O’Neal is the son of NBA great Shaquille O’Neal, who has been on record saying he would love for Shareef to play for someone like John Calipari. With tonight’s news, there is no way O’Neal will be in an Arizona uniform next season and he didn’t sign his letter of intent in November. Instead, he signed final aid papers, which is not a binding agreement.
Kentucky is in desperate need of a big man for the 2018 class and O’Neal could be a name to watch. It will interesting to see how this plays out over the next few months and I’m sure Shaq will speak publicly at some point.