North Carolina

Nassir Little, whose family denies tie to basketball scandal, could pick UNC or Duke today

Here’s how the NCAA basketball bribery schemes worked

After two years undercover, the FBI found members of top NCAA basketball programs involved in corrupt bribery schemes. Here's how those schemes worked.
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After two years undercover, the FBI found members of top NCAA basketball programs involved in corrupt bribery schemes. Here's how those schemes worked.

Duke and North Carolina target Nassir Little, a five-star basketball recruit, tweeted Wednesday that he plans to announce his college decision later in the evening.

Little, a 6-7, 205-pound small forward, is ranked No. 9 overall in the Class of 2018, according to 247sports’ Composite rankings. He visited UNC last month, and was supposed to visit Duke in November.

Nassir Little, a highly-touted recruit from Orlando, posted his five finalist schools on Twitter on Aug. 10. Coaches at two of those schools -- Miami and Arizona -- are being investigated by federal authorities as part of a probe into corruption in college basketball recruiting. TWITTER via Miami Herald

Multiple media outlets reported last week that Little appeared to be a player cited in FBI documents as being involved in a scandal that led to the indictment of 10 people connected to college basketball, including his AAU coach, Jonathan Brad Augustine.

Augustine, the coach of Little and the 1 Family AAU program in Orlando, is alleged to be part of a scheme to pay players’ families in exchange for those players going to certain universities sponsored by adidas.

Little was not named in the federal indictment, but the Miami Herald, the Palm Beach Post, SB Nation and other media outlets have reported that Little appears to be the player referred to in the FBI documents who was offered money for his commitment to the University of Miami.

The 1 Family AAU program emphatically denied those allegations in a tweet last week.

“The Little family did not ask for, nor were offered money by any institution or individual,” the tweet read. “They were completely unaware of any of the alleged offenses that may have been mentioned or contained their son’s name. There is not one single player in our program, nor family member of any player, that had any knowledge or discussion about payments being made in regards to making a college decision.”

Little’s father, Harold Little, and mother, April Little, also defended their son on Twitter.

“(Arizona head coach) Sean Miller did not offer Nassir any Money,” Harold Little tweeted. “Please stop promoting that false narrative...please!”

“I hate what people are saying about our baby @2ez_nassie,” April Little tweeted. “It’s not true. YOU tarnished our baby's name. Unforgivable.”

Little received a scholarship offer from UNC on July 31 and from Duke on Aug. 8. Other schools on his top-five list were Miami, Georgia Tech and Arizona.

Of the 15 experts who are predicting where Little will go, all believe he will pick UNC, according to 247sports’ Crystal Ball. Little is expected to announce his decision at 6 p.m.

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

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