Duke Now

Duke’s Coach K explains meeting between Wendell Carter’s mom and agency associate

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said he received a call early Friday morning from Kylia Carter, Wendell Carter’s mother, as he was walking his dog.

She asked him if he had seen “the Yahoo report.” Krzyzewski said he hadn’t.

According to the report, Wendell Carter’s name was among a list of players or their families, as having had lunch with Christian Dawkins, an ASM sports agency associate who was arrested in connection with the FBI’s corruption case in college basketball. A photo of an expense report published with the Yahoo report lists a lunch Dawkins allegedly had with Carter’s mom at Longhorn in February 2016, when Carter was a junior in high school.

It is not against NCAA rules to meet with an agent, as long as the agent doesn’t pay for anything. The expense report showed the lunch was $106.36. It’s not clear who paid for the lunch.

“She was nervous about it, and I said ‘tell me about it,’” Krzyzewski recalled. “And again remember, ledgers are ledgers. It’s not the 10 Commandments that was given down. It may not be right. I think everyone should be careful about rush to judgments and just by seeing something like that.”

He said Kylia Carter told him that through a friend, the two met. They were supposed to get something to eat, he said she told him.

“As soon as Wendell’s father sat down, he didn’t like the guy. He left,” Krzyzewski said. “And she says, ‘I’m a good southern girl from Mississippi. I just stayed there a little bit longer. We didn’t have anything to eat. And we left, and we’ve never had anything to do with it.”

Krzyzewski said the school’s athletic director Kevin White arranged to have the Carters meet with the compliance staff. And Duke contacted the NCAA about that meeting.

“Our team here at Duke did a great job of providing the support that the parents and a kid need and their coordination with the NCAA,” Krzyzewski said. “And I applaud the NCAA for working so swiftly because there were so many things happening.”

Friday afternoon, White announced in a statement that after meeting with the compliance staff, they determined Carter had no eligibility issues. Carter played in Duke’s game against Syracuse on Saturday. He scored 16 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, recorded 4 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocks.

Carter said he did nothing wrong and wasn’t even aware of what happened.

“It wasn’t a distraction because know I didn’t do anything. I know my family did not do anything,” Carter said.

There were nine other players, including former UNC forward Tony Bradley, who were listed in the Yahoo report as having had a meal or meeting with Dawkins. Other players named in Yahoo’s report, including former N.C. State guard Dennis Smith Jr., are alleged to have received thousands of dollars in payments and loans.

Federal documents released in September allege that Dawkins and others paid recruits money to steer athletes to certain Adidas-sponsored schools. Duke is a Nike school.

“We didn’t feel like we were taking any chances or anything like that,” Krzyzewski said. “We were very, very confident about that particular thing.”

Jonathan M. Alexander: 919-829-4822, @jonmalexander

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