Notes: Name of former Notre Dame guard Demetrius Jackson surfaces in Yahoo! report

Tom Noie
South Bend Tribune

Former Notre Dame and Marian High School guard Demetrius Jackson awoke Friday morning to find his name in a place he didn't expect — inside the latest college basketball corruption bombshell.

Jackson’s name was one of 10 current or former college players included in a lengthy Yahoo Sports report about the ongoing federal investigation into recruiting wrongdoing within college basketball.

Released Friday morning, the Yahoo report carried detailed payouts from former NBA agent Andy Miller, his former associate Christian Dawkins and his agency, ASM Sports, to current and former college basketball players. It also identified a group of players and/or their families, which included Jackson, that either met with or had a meal with Dawkins to discuss representation.

Meeting with agents to discuss future representation is not an NCAA violation.

Notre Dame coach Mike Brey confirmed that Jackson’s foster family, David and Beth Whitfield, met with representatives of ASM Sports as part of the process of helping Jackson choose an agent. The family did so during Jackson’s junior season, one in which he led the Irish in scoring (15.8), assists (4.6) and minutes (36.0) and back to a second straight appearance in the NCAA tournament’s Elite Eight.

“They were involved in the process, made a late push and came to town,” Brey said Friday morning about ASM.

But, reportedly, not to meet with Jackson. The former Irish guard reportedly was not present for any meeting with anyone from ASM. Or any meal. On Friday, through his agent, former Irish basketball player Kieran Piller, Jackson said that he not only has never met Dawkins, he has no idea who he is or who he even worked for.

Jackson declined a Tribune interview request. A second-round selection of the Boston Celtics in the 2016 NBA draft, Jackson is currently on a two-way contract with his third team, the Philadelphia 76ers and its G-league affiliate, the Delaware 87ers.

Piller called the inclusion of Jackson’s name in the Yahoo report a non-story.

Following his junior season at Notre Dame, Jackson narrowed his choice of representation to three agencies — Mark Bartelstein’s Priority Sports and Entertainment, Bill Duffy’s BDA Sports Management and The Neustadt Group. Jackson chose the Chicago-based Priority and has been represented by Piller, a walk-on guard for two seasons (2005-07) with the Irish, since 2016.

No longer an agent after being decertified late last year, Miller once represented former Irish power forward Torin Francis and point guard Chris Thomas.

NCAA president Mark Emmert released a statement Friday morning in response to the Yahoo Sports report.

“These allegations, if true, point to systematic failures that must be fixed and fixed now if we want college sports in America. Simply put, people who engage in this kind of behavior have no place in college sports. They are an affront to all those who play by the rules,” the statement read.

“We also will continue to cooperate with the efforts of federal prosecutors to identify and punish the unscrupulous parties seeking to exploit the system through criminal acts.”

Dawkins was one of eight individuals indicted for bribery in the fall. The indictments led to the firings of Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino at Louisville.

When news of the indictments first broke, Brey was pretty confident that Notre Dame would not be included in any wrongdoing — on any level — be it a coach or a current or former player.

"We've had a template here for how we run things. I feel very, very good about it,” Brey said in October. “There's a lot of moving pieces in recruiting and everything (and) I think I know just about everything that goes on.

"I'm pretty darn confident how we do business, but you never know completely. I think I pride myself in really being plugged in to everything that goes on."

Harvey hurting

News regarding Notre Dame freshman swingman D.J. Harvey has gone from bad to worse to really bad.

Barely a week after being expected to return to the rotation after missing seven games with a bone bruise to his left knee suffered early in the Jan. 16 double-overtime game against Louisville, Harvey will undergo season-ending microfracture surgery Wednesday in Chicago.

Harvey re-injured the knee a week ago Friday, only hours before he was expected to return to the rotation for the road win at Boston College. Further tests this week revealed a cartilage tear.

“It’s disappointing that something else is going on in there,” Brey said.

Microfracture surgery is the same procedure needed by former Irish guard Chris Thomas between his junior and senior seasons. It will be performed by the medical staff of the Chicago Bulls.

Recovery and rehabilitation time for the surgery could be at least six months. That means Harvey will not be ready for the team’s foreign tour of the Bahamas in August.

“October 1, the first official day of practice, is a realistic date for him to return,” Brey said.

So might be taking a medical redshirt for the 2018-19 season. Six new faces — five incoming recruits and transfer Juwan Durham — will be eligible for the Irish next year.

The 6-foot-6 Harvey was averaging 5.8 points and 2.9 rebounds in 18.2 minutes over 19 games with five starts.

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Former Notre Dame guard Demetrius Jackson reportedly has never met a man at the center of the NCAA/FBI probe. His agent, also a former Irish basketball guard, believes Jackson's name linked to the probe is a non-story. (Tribune Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN)