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How two former UNC players’ names came up in Yahoo Sports report on FBI investigation

North Carolina's Marcus Paige (5) and North Carolina's Brice Johnson (11) congratulate each other as they come off the court late in the second half of UNC's 83-66 victory over Syracuse in the semifinals of the 2016 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, on April 2, 2016.
North Carolina's Marcus Paige (5) and North Carolina's Brice Johnson (11) congratulate each other as they come off the court late in the second half of UNC's 83-66 victory over Syracuse in the semifinals of the 2016 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, on April 2, 2016. rwillett@newsobserver.com

The names of former North Carolina forwards Brice Johnson and Tony Bradley are mentioned in the Yahoo Sports report published on Friday that details the expenditures of former NBA agent Andy Miller and his agency, ASM Sports.

Yahoo obtained documents from the ongoing federal investigation into college basketball recruiting that showed Miller and his former associate, Christian Dawkins, kept a spreadsheet detailing their expenses in their attempts to land future clients.

Dawkins, 25, was charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in September with three counts of wire fraud and one count of money-laundering conspiracy.

The documents published by Yahoo on Friday outline payments or loans to some current and former college basketball players. Former N.C. State guard Dennis Smith Jr. is listed as receiving $43,500 according to one document and $73,500, according to another, before he got to N.C. State.

Johnson, an All-American at UNC in the 2015-16 season and in his second season in the NBA, signed with Miller’s agency out of UNC before the 2016 NBA draft. Miller relinquished his agent certification with the NBA and the NBA Players’ Association in December.

N.C. State disassociated itself with Miller in 2012, N.C. State athletic director Debbie Yow said in a statement on Friday.

Johnson is named in the spreadsheet as going to dinner with Dion Bethea, his former AAU coach, and Dawkins on March 1, 2016. The meal, at an Italian chain restaurant, cost $100.09.

The document doesn’t provide any details about whether Dawkins paid for Johnson’s meal, which would be a minor NCAA violation. It is not against NCAA rules to meet with an agent.

Reached Friday, Bethea said he couldn’t remember the details of the dinner with Dawkins.

Bethea declined further comment.

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North Carolina's Tony Bradley (5) drives to the basket during the second half of UNC's victory over Gonzaga in the NCAA Division I men's basketball national championship game at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ, on April 3, 2017. Ethan Hyman ehyman@newsobserver.com

Bradley, who played for the Tar Heels during the 2016-17 season, is mentioned in the article as one of the former players, or one of his family members, meeting with or having a meal with Dawkins. The name of the Utah Jazz rookie does not appear in any of the documents that Yahoo posted on Friday. Bradley did not sign with Miller’s agency.

“We have no information on what is mentioned in today’s Yahoo story, but we will cooperate fully with any and all investigations,” UNC senior associate athletic director Steve Kirschner said.

North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams talks with reporters about the FBI investigation of college basketball during a press conference Feb. 16, 2018.

UNC coach Roy Williams was asked about a previous Yahoo report on Feb. 16 and said he wasn’t concerned about his program’s involvement in the FBI investigation.

“I feel very comfortable,” Williams said. “If the phone rings at night, I’m not worried about that. I may worry about a lot of other things but it ain’t about that.”

The name of former UNC forward Brendan Haywood, who spent 13 seasons in the NBA, is also mentioned in the documents. Haywood, who played at UNC from 1997 to 2001, was loaned $351.17 in 2015, according to the documents.

In September, the FBI and other federal authorities announced a sweeping investigation into bribery and corruption in college basketball.

At the core of the investigation was money from athletic apparel giant Adidas allegedly being used to pay the families of basketball recruits in exchange for attending colleges with Adidas deals, to bribe college coaches to veer those players toward certain agents and financial advisers linked to the apparel company.

According to the FBI indictments, families of college basketball recruits were paid $100,000 and more.

CORRECTION: This article has been updated to correct Dion Bethea’s relationship with Brice Johnson. Bethea was Johnson’s AAU coach.

Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski addresses recent scandal reported by Yahoo News which involves many of the NCAA men's top programs.

Joe Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio

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