Report: San Diego State Aztecs basketball player Malik Pope allegedly received loan from agent

Posted at 9:26 AM, Feb 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-23 21:17:48-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV/CNS) - San Diego State basketball player Malik Pope is among numerous players who allegedly received improper benefits, according to documents obtained by Yahoo Sports.

The documents are part of Yahoo's report on an ongoing federal investigation into possible corruption within college basketball, mostly focusing on former NBA agent Andy Miller and his agency ASM Sports. The documents list numerous Division I players, including Pope, who may have possibly violated NCAA rules.

In the documents, Pope is listed as having received a $1,400 loan sometime before Dec. 31, 2015. The senior forward entered the SDSU program in fall 2014.

Pope's alleged loan was larger than about 10 other such payments but paled in comparison to the largest loan, which was allegedly made for more than $52,000 to Jarell Martin, a forward for the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies who played for Louisiana State University at the time.

Other notable players listed in the documents:

-- Markelle Fultz, the University of Washington star and No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft (obtained a $10,000 loan)
-- Kyle Kuzma, Lakers rookie star who played at the University of Utah (obtained a $9,500 loan)
-- Dennis Smith Jr., who played at North Carolina State and is currently the Dallas Mavericks' starting point guard (obtained $73,500 in loans)

The new documents published by Yahoo Sports show a wide-ranging and growing scandal that now implicates many of college basketball's top players, coaches and universities.

The story was based on expense reports, balance sheets, banks records and a list of cash advances that federal investigators apparently obtained from Miller, his agency and Dawkins. Miller and Dawkins are central to the corruption investigation and are charged with paying bribes and other improper benefits to players, their families, coaches and others in an attempt to gain influence.

Dawkins and nine other people involved in the sport, including former Aztec player and coach Tony Bland, were indicted in September as part of the FBI's probe into what Joon H. Kim, acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, called the "dark underbelly of college basketball."

SDSU basketball head coach Brian Dutcher announced Friday morning that the athletic department would be conducting an internal investigation into the matter. While their investigation goes on, Pope will not be allowed to have any contact with the team.

Pope will also not play in Saturday's game at San Jose State, and his status is unclear for the team's other two remaining regular season games and at least one game at the Mountain West Conference Tournament in Las Vegas next month.

It is unclear how or if the Yahoo Sports report will impact Pope's eligibility, as the documents cited and published by Yahoo Sports are sealed in federal court and unavailable to SDSU and others who are not parties to the lawsuit.