Report says Romeo Langford's father had issue with KU being mentioned in FBI investigation
Just days after the Kansas basketball program officially became linked to a federal investigation into corruption in college basketball, five-star recruit Romeo Langford, who chose Indiana over KU and Vanderbilt on Monday night, said KU's tie to the FBI probe would not impact his decision.
That may have held true in the eyes of the player. But news out of Indiana on Monday night, shortly after Langford made his commitment, illustrated that the FBI investigation did have at least some impact on Langford's father.
In an interview with Mike Miller of HoosierSportsReport.com, Tim Langford discussed the impact of the FBI investigation and KU's mention in the federal indictment on his son's decision. And it's clear from Mr. Langford's words that the impact was both significant and likely shared with Romeo.
“It pushed it out for me,” Tim Langford told Miller. “Just having that name (FBI) on your school.”
According to the article, Tim Langford's biggest concern about KU being named in the federal indictment does not appear to come from the fact that the Jayhawks could find themselves in future trouble — that may or may not still be the case and also may or may not impact the 2018-19 season, which likely will be Romeo's only year of college ball — but, instead, that his son, by attending KU, could have to answer questions about whether he received money over and over again.
“I didn’t take (Kansas) out of the three verbally,” Tim Langford explained to Miller. “But in my mind, we just didn’t want him going there and anybody asking him that type of question. So we don’t want him going to school there. We don’t care how good the basketball is.”
While the FBI investigation remains ongoing, with no known time table for an ending or a resolution, it remains to be seen if this type of situation will become more common among players Kansas targets in the future.
It's worth noting that nothing has changed in terms of KU's link to the investigation. At this point, KU remains mentioned merely because it was defrauded by Adidas executive Jim Gatto and a colleague, who are said to have provided more than $100,000 to a separate parent and guardian of two KU players in exchange for those players to attend Kansas. Also worth noting here is the fact that Indiana, like Kansas, is an Adidas school.
So unless anything more concrete comes out about any wrongdoing on the part of KU, it's easy to see how both the Kansas coaching staff and prospective recruits and their families can take things at face value and say and believe that KU played no role in any of the schemes outlined in the indictment.
Because of that, it's probably unlikely to have a negative effect because most of the issue surrounding the investigation is on one-and-done players and Kansas, as well as other major college programs, only recruit a couple of those every year and do not reel one in in every class.
In the 2018 recruiting class alone, Devon Dotson, David McCormack and Ochai Agbaji all are expected to be at Kansas for multiple seasons, with only No. 8-ranked prospect Quentin Grimes projecting as a possible one-and-done player.
Grimes is currently listed as the No. 6 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft — one spot behind Langford — in a 2019 mock draft put together by ESPN.com's Jonathan Givony on April 20.