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ESPN: Email reveals plans to pay Kentucky, Louisville basketball players

Ray Spalding and V.J. King of Louisville and Jarred Vanderbilt and Ashton Hagans of Kentucky were listed as players Christian Dawkins wanted to pay as part of the ongoing pay-for-play schemes.
Jarred Vanderbilt (left) and Ray Spalding (right) are two of the former college basketball players Christian Dawkins wanted to pay-for-play, according to emails acquired by ESPN.

NEW YORK — Former and current Kentucky and Louisville basketball players were listed as "prospective players" that aspiring agent Christian Dawkins wanted to pay in a business plan obtained by ESPN Thursday.

Jarred Vanderbilt and Ray Spalding, both college players at the time of the email, were listed, as well as current players V.J. King (U of L) and Ashton Hagans (UK).

According to the ESPN report, Dawkins proposed giving Vanderbilt a $100,000 line of credit and $25,000 advance on his marketing revenue if he was projected as a lottery pick at the end of the 2017-18 season. Vanderbilt played in only 14 games and was a second-round pick in the 2018 draft.

Dawkins proposed paying Spalding $2,000 per month from October 2017 to December 2017, then $3,000 per month until April 2018.

ESPN said Dawkins also planned to pay King $2,000 per month from October 2017 until April 2018, although he noted it "will be a messy situation in my opinion."

"Our university continually reviews the eligibility of all of its student-athletes," a University of Louisville spokesman told ESPN. "We have reviewed information recently presented at the trial in New York and do not believe it affects any of our current student-athletes. We will continue to monitor any new information that becomes available."

In the email, Dawkins said he wanted to recruit Hagans, who was in high school at the time. According to the email, Dawkins wanted to pay Hagans $2,000 per month from October 2017 to October 2018, then $3,000 monthly through April 2020.

Also listed were Alabama's Collin Sexton, Mississippi State's Lamar Peters, Oregon's Troy Brown Jr., Arizona's Rawle Alkins, Cincinnati's Jacob Evans, Miami's Dewan Huell (now Hernandez), LSU's Brandon Sampson, USC's De'Anthony Melton and Xavier's Trevon Bluiett.

Dawkins, Adidas executive James Gatto and former Adidas consultant Merl Code were convicted of felony conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud during last month's trial in New York.

There is no evidence that any of the payments were actually made before his arrest or that any of the players had knowledge of the pay-for-play schemes.

To read ESPN's entire story, visit their website.