As I walked south on Seventh Avenue toward Times Square during a high school trip to New York, a guy approached me and asked if I wanted to buy some hashish.
I kept walking without responding.
I had no idea what hashish was – had never even heard the term – and I certainly didn’t want to buy any.
My presence near a man attempting to engage in illegal activity conferred no guilt upon me.
Former Indiana assistant coach Chuck Martin’s name being in an email detailing one side of a negotiation that bore no fruit reminds me of my interlude with the drug dealer in NYC.
Here’s the email from agent Christian Dawkins to his boss explaining his desire to send Brian Bowen (he’s the recruit whose dad Rick Pitino asked Adidas to send $100K to) to Indiana:
“Chuck Martin – Trying to close the deal on Brian Bowen for Indiana. I told him if we can work together and if he can push for us to get (Hoosiers) Thomas Bryant and OG Anunoby two projected first rounders from IU this year we can work something out.”
Not only is that not a smoking gun, it’s unclear whether Dawkins gun had any bullets. Martin may have tried to close the deal, or he might have ignored the hyper-aggressive Dawkins – refusing to dignify the offer with a response.
There may be future evidence that shows Indiana bathed in the same slime that ended Pitino’s coaching career and will likely cause severe issues for Arizona’s Sean Miller and many others, but this is not it.
Maybe all the highly ranked recruits from the east coast came to Indiana to play for Tom Crean because he appeared quite adept at getting high school players ready for the NBA. Maybe there was more to it.
But whatever you suspect about Indiana Basketball’s recruiting practices from 2012-2017, either good or bad, this email proves nothing in either direction.
Kent Sterling hosts the fastest growing sportstalk show in Indianapolis on CBS Sports 1430 every weekday from 3p-7p, and writes about Indiana sports at kentsterling.com.