A motion filed this week in federal court by controversial attorney Michael Avenatti alleges efforts were made by Nike representatives to funnel money to top high school basketball prospects and people who represent them — including Indiana University star Romeo Langford.
In a motion to have charges related to the extortion lawsuit that Nike filed against him dismissed, Avenatti claims a Nike youth basketball league executive said in a text message that he would be willing to pay $20,000 to Langford or his family or representatives.
There is no record that the payment ever happened, and the claims in the lawsuit are just allegations. Langford ended up going to IU, an Adidas school, and at one point Louisville, another Adidas school, was considered the frontrunner to land the five-star prospect.
Avenatti lawsuit: Unnamed Kentucky basketball assistant mentioned in allegations
In the lawsuit, Avenatti claims Nike Elite Youth Basketball manager Jamal James texted Nike recruiting coordinator John Stovall and Nike EYB director Carlton DeBose in February 2017 asking if the pair would be “willing to do … whatever may be needed for the Zion/Romeo situations as well as the money…