Amended documents released by the FBI earlier this week no longer name Jonathan Brad Augustine, the former AAU coach of North Carolina basketball signee Nassir Little.
Augustine, among others, was arrested and indicted in September in connection with a scheme to pay the families of players in his AAU program to secure their commitment to certain adidas-sponsored schools. The fraud charges against Augustine were dropped in February. It is unclear why.
The amended documents, which were released on Tuesday, seven months after the original documents were released, do not allege anything new as it relates to Little. But Augustine is no longer mentioned in the documents.
According to the original documents, which were released in September, Augustine conspired with an executive from adidas, his employee and an unregistered agent, to funnel $150,000 to the family of a 2018 prospect, widely believed to be Little — based on his profile — in order to get him to sign with the University of Miami, which is an adidas-sponsored school. After he left Miami for the NBA, he would also sign with the agent. Augustine, James Gatto, the adidas executive, Meryl Code, Gatto’s employee and Christian Dawkins, the agent, were all arrested in the scheme.
The amended indictments released on Tuesday allege that Gatto, Code and Dawkins “among others, intended to conceal the planned payments to the family of the student-athlete from the NCAA and officials at the University of Miami, in order for the scheme to succeed and for the student-athlete to receive an athletic scholarships from the University of Miami.”
No one in Little's family is described in the documents as having had conversations with Gatto, Code or Dawkins.
Miami was among multiple schools interested in Little. But Little, a top 10 prospect in the country and McDonald’s All-American, eventually committed to UNC, a Nike school, a week after the FBI’s ongoing investigation was revealed.
Little and his father have denied involvement in the scheme. Miami coach Jim Larrañaga also denied involvement. Little and his father signed sworn affidavits denying that no school offered them money for their commitment, and that they did not take any money.
Little’s father, Harold Little, also said in an interview with The News & Observer in October, that as it related to he and his family, they were not involved. He said he could not say the same about anyone else.
According to a recent Washington Post story, Augustine apparently told federal prosecutors he never intended to pay the players and their families, and had kept the little money actually paid out in these deals for himself.
“With respect to Mr. Little, Mr. Augustine had no intention of taking any money and handing it to Mr. Little,” said Gatto’s attorney, Michael Schachter, according to the Post story. The comments come from a transcript of a hearing on March 22.
The admission by Augustine, if true, seemed to give credence to the elder Little’s assertion that his son and his family were not involved.
Little ended up signing with UNC in November. UNC basketball coach Roy Williams has said in the past that he believes what Little and his father have said based on the sworn affidavit they signed, and that he trusts them.
Little, a 6-7, 205-pound small forward, who plays for Orlando Christian Prep, in Orlando, Fla., headlined UNC’s three-person recruiting class. He is ranked No. 6 overall in the country. Little is joined by five-star recruit and Greenfield's Coby White (6-5, 170), who is also a McDonald’s All-American, and Rechon Black (6-7, 175), a four-star point guard, from Concord, N.C.