YES, ANOTHER UPDATE ON RICHMOND BASKETBALL
The peeling of the onion continues as we investigate allegations of corruption in the Richmond basketball program. Again, we still have a ways to go, but we have found half-truths or complete fabrications of the truth at this point. Before I share with you some information we gathered on Monday, Radiotroy.com acquired a text message from someone who claim to be a media member in Indianapolis that was written to Tony Cole or his wife Ashley. Here’s what the message said, “We received your number and information from a member of Richmond high school who is asking to remain anonymous. We are currently investigating a story regarding the Richmond high school basketball program in its current state and we were led to believe that you may have firsthand knowledge of things and you yourself are being named as an undercover booster and recruiter for Richmond and numerous other Indiana schools. If we don’t receive any information from you, our column will read that you declined to comment, if you wish to comment but remain anonymous that is also possible hopeful that you will participate if for nothing else but to clarify the claims of your involvement.”
First off, the so – called media member left his phone number but never answers when called. Second, as you can see this so-called media member refused to identify what publication this would be printed in. It is my belief that any member of the media that is doing a story is supposed to identify themselves and this person refused to do so. This tells me that there is no publication and that the person who is making these accusations is hiding behind another false or fake phone number.
Another text message listed Indianapolis Star sportswriter Greg Doyle. This is an attempt to make it appear that Mr. Doyle is the one who sent this text message. This too has been found to be completely false.
Now, for two other accusations listed in the email; yes, two players were brought in (by their mother) from the Fishers area, but at no time were they ever given tryouts by Richmond coach Shabaz Khaliq, assistant coach Brandon Miller or assistant coach Brian Bennett. Their mother Camena Johnson brought the two students to Richmond, and enrolled them in Richmond community schools and used Tony Cole’s home address as their address. They did work out for Tony Cole but at no time did they work out for Richmond high school. Their older brother confirmed that in an earlier interview. There is no evidence that any Richmond coaches had contact with these two students concerning basketball. When Richmond community schools found their address was not correct, necessary steps were taken by the administration to fix the issue. Since both students did not have a legal address or guardian they couldn’t stay at Richmond high school. But again, there is no direct evidence that they worked out, took a tour of Richmond high school or be promised anything from the Richmond basketball coaching staff.
In another accusation we have confirmed to be a half- truth concerns a foreign exchange student from France. This student was considered to be an F-1 one exchange student, that means he has a visa that allowed him to enter the United States as a full – time student at Richmond high school. His requirements were maintaining the minimum course load for full-time student status. They can remain in the US up to 60 days beyond the length of time it takes to complete their academic program, unless they have applied and been approved to stay and work for a period of time under the OPT Program. Yes, he did want to play basketball, but he was not brought here under the direction of any Richmond basketball coach as alleged in the email. He was told he needed to pay tuition to stay at Richmond and at that point he decided to leave. Despite accusations that Warren Dohinnou came to Richmond under the direction of Mr. Cole and Shabaz Kahliq is completely unfounded. So, as you see, another half-truth in the email.
Again, we reiterate, we are checking every available source to either confirm or dispute any accusation. Some again refuse to return my calls despite many efforts.
What is most disturbing thus far is this information has clearly come from someone close to the basketball program that has an ax to grind and has decided to use those half-truths as hard facts. What is also disturbing is the person making the accusations and the so-called media person doing an article refuses to give their identity which also makes the accusations less credible.
We will continue to call the phone number that was listed on the text and will continue to interview those accused in the email and try to get to the truth!!!