Sport Report: Bagley family received direct benefits from Nike sponsorship of AAU/club team
Jeffrey Earnhardt and StarCom Racing part ways
Just five races into the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, StarCom Racing and Jeffrey Earnhardt have parted ways. After scoring a career-best finish of 21st in the Daytona 500, Earnhardt and the No. 00 team have struggled for results with finishes of 34th, 31st, 35th and 36th.Following the Auto Club 400, the team, headed by former Daytona 500 winner Derrike Cope, announced that the two parties have "mutually agreed" to go their separate ways. A replacement driver has yet to be named. Earnhardt, 28, is the grandson of NASCAR icon Dale Earnhardt Sr.
The ongoing investigation into finances surrounding amateur basketball have cast an ongoing shadow over some of college basketball's most talented young players. Chief among them is Marvin Bagley III, Duke's uber-talented freshman who is sure to be a top five pick in the forthcoming NBA Draft.
While Bagley III and Duke escaped any punitive measures during the FBI's initial investigation into youth basketball finances, that doesn't mean it will remain so in the future. In fact, according to an investigation by The Oregonian and OregonLive.com,of direct sneaker company aid in the youth basketball scene.
Five-Time Olympic Gold Medalist Katie Ledecky Turning Pro
Five-time Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky is turning professional, forgoing her final two years of eligibly at Stanford and focusing on the 2020 Olympics games in Tokyo. Ledecky made the announcement Monday at the a National Press Club event in Washington, D.C. By turning pro, Ledecky can earn endorsement and sponsorship opportunities, which will be especially big in the lead-up to the 2020 games. She finished her two-year career with Stanford with eight NCAA titles and helped the team win two NCAA championships. The 21-year-old competed in the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Olympics. She earned one gold in London, and four golds and one silver in Brazil. She's also won World Championship titles and holds multiple world records. Ledecky will continue to train and study at Stanford.
For the Bagleys, it appears the path out of financial straits was paved by the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League squad called the Phoenix Phamily, a group organized and coached by Marvin Bagley Jr., Bagley III's father. Shortly after taking the reins of Phoenix Phamily, the Bagley family relocated from a working class Phoenix suburb to ritzy Southern California and a neighborhood where average houses sell for $1 million and more.
In fact, Bagley Jr. apparently wasn't even hiding how important the compensation he and the family received from Nike to run the program,
Bagley Jr. in 2016 acknowledged to Sports Illustrated that the family was relying on the Nike sponsorship and an athletic apparel company he was starting up "to make ends meet."
Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer will give $420.69 a day to charities for his ’69 Days of Giving’
On the 69th and final day of giving, he will give away $69,420.69.
Once in California, the younger Bagley enrolled at Sierra Canyon, a private school in Chatsworth where tuition now tops out at $36,250 a year. BMWs and Mercedes frequent the student parking lot, and the school's celebrity roster includes kids named Jenner and Kardashian.
While all those facts may be true, it doesn't necessarily provide a smoking gun to connect the Bagleys with illicit funds.
That doesn't mean what happened wasn't ethically wrong, nor does it mean that Bagley III had anything directly to do with Nike's mechanism of delivering funds to his family. No accounts that have come to public light intimate that Bagley III was involved in his family's connection with Nike, beyond wearing the merchandise that was sent his way.
Still, at least one significant journalist has pointed out the blatant workaround the sneaker companies have devised for funneling cash to an elite prospect in:
Tony Finau, Paige Spiranac’s fiance team up to break Guinness World Record
Tony Finau and Steven Tinoco set a new Guinness World Record for most golf balls caught in one minute from 100 meters away.PGA Tour golfer Tony Finau and former minor league baseball player Steven Tinoco, also known as Paige Spiranac's fiance, set a new Guinness World Record for most golf balls caught in one minute from 100 meters away, completing 12 hit-and-catches just before time expired.
"If a dad is coaching an AAU team that is sponsored by one of the big shoe companies, that is plainly just a way for the shoe company to dump a bunch of money in the lap of the parent of the young star," journalist George Dohrmann told the Oregonian.
"Everybody knows that, right? It's a joke."
Why Patrick Reed won't cash in on an equipment deal following Masters win .
Patrick Reed won the 2018 Masters without an equipment deal. Don't expect that to change for the rest of the season.Patrick Reed, as noted by Golf Digest equipment guru Mike Johnson, is a rare breed of major champion. Specifically, one without an equipment sponsorship. It's not unheard of; after Nike discontinued its hard goods business in late 2016, swoosh endorsor Brooks Koepka won the 2017 U.S. Open with a mixed bag at Erin Hills.