North Carolina has swooped in for a commitment from five-star wing Nassir Little, who will be a huge addition to their 2018 class — if he’s eligible. Little, the nation’s No. 7 recruit according to 247Sports, has been connected to the FBI’s investigation into corrupt recruiting in college basketball.
Little played his AAU ball for 1 Family, and 1 Family’s program director, Brad Augustine, has been arrested by the FBI. According to the FBI’s report, “University-7” offered “Player-12” $150,000 for a commitment. We know that “University-7” is Miami, and many reports have speculated that Little is “Player-12,” an accusation the Little family has denied.
Arizona and Miami were once frontrunners in Little’s recruitment. Schools had even backed off because they believed he was clearly headed to Arizona, according to Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.
Two NCAA coaches involved in the recruitment of Nassir Little told me they had backed off this week as it became clear he was Arizona-bound.
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) September 26, 2017
However, Little re-opened his recruitment (even though he’d never officially committed anywhere) after Arizona assistant Book Richardson was arrested for his role in a bribery scandal. Miami also dropped out of the running after falling under FBI investigation as well. He then announced his commitment to UNC on Wednesday.
— Nassir Little (@2ez_nassie) October 4, 2017
Here’s what Little told ESPN about the situation:
“For me, I just didn’t want to be mixed in a situation where any of the accusations seemed like it was true. Because it wasn’t,” Little said on Wednesday. “Every school I was considering was because I had a genuine interest in them. North Carolina had been the school I wanted, regardless. I just block it out. They can say they want. I just focus on myself, and do what my heart desires.”
Of course, North Carolina has its own scandals to worry about. UNC’s athletic department has been caught up in an academic scandal with the NCAA for years. But that’s still better than having the FBI involved.
Hopefully Little, a likely lottery pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, gets to play his college ball at UNC. But it wouldn’t be surprising if there’s an investigation into his eligibility on the horizon.