Ohio State basketball recruiting is back in the spotlight following a recent FBI investigation.
The FBI and US attorneys in Cleveland have launched a criminal investigation into the case against former Ohio State star, Jalen Coleman, which is reportedly linked to alleged financial fraud.
“I’m not sure what’s going to happen but we’re definitely not going to talk about it right now,” former Ohio state guard Jalen Robinson told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
“I’m just looking forward to the day we get some justice.
We’ve been through enough.
We deserve justice.”
Robinson is one of many players who have accused the NCAA of bias in recruiting for its decision to suspend Ohio State’s basketball program after Coleman was charged with a felony for allegedly embezzling funds from the university.
Robinson, who is the son of former NBA player and current Cleveland Cavaliers guard, LeBron James, told the Plain Dealer that the FBI investigation was not directly linked to the case.
“The FBI is not involved in the case,” Robinson said.
“We’re not in contact with them at all.
I don’t know why.
It’s not my place to speculate.”
In a separate incident, a former US attorney in Los Angeles, who was investigating the NCAA’s decision to cut Ohio State, has reportedly said that the US attorney there is looking into the investigation.
“If they’re interested in the investigation, we would be very interested,” US Attorney Mike Coats told a reporter in a phone interview, according to The Los Angeles Times.
“The US attorney has a lot of investigative work that he has to do.”
Cases of NCAA recruiting fraud have been rampant for years, with a 2015 investigation finding evidence that the NCAA is using agents to recruit athletes for schools including Ohio State.
The US Department of Justice announced in February that it would expand its investigation into NCAA recruiting to include “any person, company or institution that engages in recruiting activity on behalf of or with the intent of recruiting any student-athlete at an institution of higher education”.
In a statement on Wednesday, the US Department said the DOJ is currently looking into “a variety of issues including violations of NCAA rule 11, Section 1.3.2, including recruiting by agents of institutions of higher learning”.
“We will not tolerate a pattern of fraud or misrepresentation by any individual, organization or institution,” the statement read.