ESPN report details calls between Creighton coach, staff, ex-player to agent convicted in college hoops scandal

Creighton was again linked to a high-profile college basketball bribery case.

ESPN published a report Sunday in which it detailed two months’ worth of phone records from Christian Dawkins, an aspiring agent who was convicted last week by a New York jury on federal wire fraud charges.

Coach Greg McDermott, assistant Preston Murphy and former CU star Justin Patton were all named in the story. Call logs reportedly show that they were in regular communication with Dawkins from May 3, 2017, to July 2, 2017.

The specifics of those conversations wasn’t released Sunday. Attempts to reach McDermott or Murphy were unsuccessful Sunday night, but the school provided a statement to ESPN.

“The university is working jointly with the NCAA to evaluate the matter and will continue to work within the association’s processes,” the statement read. “We will have no further comment until that process is completed.”

The Bluejays spent two years recruiting 2017 prospect Brian Bowen – and Dawkins managed Bowen’s recruitment. In April 2017, Patton declared for the draft and signed with Andy Miller and ASM Sports, which employed Dawkins. So it’s not unexpected that Dawkins’ phone records confirm he had interactions with members of the CU program.

But a two-year FBI investigation revealed last year that Dawkins helped orchestrate a plan to funnel $100,000 to the Bowen family after the five-star prospect picked Louisville. The criminal trial exposed details of Dawkins trying to solicit bids for Bowen’s commitment.

Brian Bowen Sr. said in federal court this month that Dawkins worked a deal with Murphy to give the family $100,000 and two jobs if his son committed to Creighton. Bluejay officials, including McDermott, have denied breaking any NCAA rules.

Murphy hasn’t commented publicly, but he remains on staff at CU. He was on the sideline for Saturday’s exhibition at the CHI Health Center.

Creighton conducted an internal probe last fall. It has since opened another investigation, which remains ongoing. It hired the law firm Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC, that specializes in NCAA compliance issues.

According to ESPN’s report, Dawkins spoke at least nine times with McDermott from May 8 to June 22 in 2017. The two talked for 28 minutes May 8, 29 minutes May 20 and 16 minutes May 24, according to the story.

There were 59 calls between Dawkins and Murphy from May 4, 2017 to July 3, 2017 – 32 of those came before Bowen committed to Louisville, according to ESPN’s report.

Patton’s number showed up more than any other on Dawkins’ call log. The story also said that Patton’s twin brother, Kendall, signed a financial deal to work with Dawkins, who wrote in an email Sept. 5, 2017, that they’d agreed to terms.

The ESPN report confirmed, too, that Dawkins was in direct communication with Arizona coach Sean Miller and former assistant Book Richardson, who is facing federal charges in a related case. Miller and Dawkins talked at least 13 times, according to the two months of records.

Media accounts from the courtroom this month indicated that the FBI executed a wiretap on Dawkins’ phone from June 19, 2017, to Sept. 25, 2017. ESPN reported that the government has released audio of some, but not all, of Dawkins’ calls.

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