Louisville has lost a pair of recruits and Auburn had one decommit as well the day after the Justice Department and the FBI announced 10 arrests connected to an ongoing investigation into corruption in college basketball.
High school seniors and five-star recruits Anfernee Simons and Courtney Ramey both decommitted to Louisville on Wednesday. Another five-star recruit, E.J. Montgomery decommitted from Auburn, his father told Scout.com.
Neither school was named in court documents, but Louisville has acknowledged that the university was a part of the FBI investigation, and on Wednesday Cardinals basketball coach Rick Pitino was placed on unpaid administrative lead. He is expected to be fired, according to multiple reports.
On Tuesday Auburn suspended assistant coach Chuck Person indefinitely after he was arrested and accused of accepting a total of $91,500 in the case, the complaint says.
Simons announced his decision on Twitter.
‘Due to the recent events that have taken place, my family and I have decided it’s in my best interest to de-commit from the University of Louisville,’ Simons wrote. ‘I will be reopening my recruitment. This was a very tough decision to make and I am deeply sadden by this. I appreciate all of the support from Louisville fans.’
Interestingly, Simons still had a 2016 tweet pinned atop his profile in which he committed to Louisville.
Ramey’s father spoke to Scout.com.
‘We are going to reopen it,’ Ramey Sr. told the website. ‘We aren’t excited about it, but it’s something we have to do.
‘It’s a grinding process and I want my son to enjoy his senior season without the pressure,’ he continued. ‘We were all set to go to Louisville and play for coach [Pitino] and play in the ACC. We thought it was a perfect fit, but due to the circumstances we are going to open it.’
Simmons was the eighth-best prospect in the country, according to ESPN, which rated Ramey 49th and the top player in Missouri.
Montgomery’s father also spoke with Scout.com.
‘We are going to open EJ’s recruitment back up,’ Montgomery Sr. said of his son, who was an early commitment for Auburn. ‘He hasn’t really gone through the process of being recruited and he wants to experience that.’
On Wednesday, Louisville interim president Greg Postel announced that one current Cardinals player would be suspended indefinitely. Postel didn’t mention any name, but it’s believed that the player is freshman Brian Bowen, another five-star recruit, who may have received a large bribe to attend Louisville.
The FBI and Justice Department named Adidas global sports marketing director Jim Gatto as one of 10 defendants on Tuesday. And according to the allegations, he conspired with coaches to pay recruits to play at Adidas-sponsored schools. Gatto and four others were charged with ‘making and concealing bribe payments’ to students and their families.
Adidas was not named specifically in the filing, but was instead referred to as ‘Company-1.’
Gatto and his fellow defendants are accused of funneling $100,000 to the family of a recruit in order to persuade that player to attend a school in Kentucky. That school was not named, but Louisville did sign a $160 million deal with Adidas in August.
No player is named in the court documents. However, according to multiple reports, it was Bowen, an All-American from Indiana who chose Louisville over other national powerhouse programs such as Michigan State, Arizona, UCLA, and Oregon.