Villanova gets verbal commitment from Quinerly
Point guard Jahvon Quinerly, a McDonald’s All-American who withdrew a verbal commitment to Arizona following an FBI investigation into a corruption scandal that rocked college basketball last September and led to the arrests of four assistant coaches, including the one who reportedly recruited him to Arizona, announced his intention to attend Villanova Wednesday.
Quinerly, a senior at Hudson Catholic in Jersey City, N,J., made his announcement in a 41-second video on Twitter titled “Dreams Do Come True.”
“I will be attending Villanova University,” Quinerly said in the video. “Nova Nation, stand up.”
Quinerly originally committed to Arizona in August and then retracted that commitment in October in the wake of the federal investigation that resulted in indictments against 10 people including former assistant coaches Emanuel “Book” Richardson (Arizona), Chuck Person (Auburn), Lamont Evans (Oklahoma State) and Tony Bland (USC).
Richardson in the man who recruited Quinerly to Arizona, according to published reports. Richardson was put on paid leave Sept. 26, indicted by a federal grand jury on several criminal charges including conspiracy to commit bribery and wire fraud in November and fired Jan. 11, per reports.
According to documents in the case, “(Undercover Agent)-1, working with Christian Dawkins and Munish Sood, the defendants, paid and/or facilitated the payment of $20,000 in bribes to Emanuel Richardson, a/k/a ‘Book,’ the defendant, some of which Richardson appears to have kept for himself and some of which he appears to have provided to at least one prospective high school basketball player (‘Player-5’) in order to recruit Player-5 to play for University-4. In exchange for the bribe payments, Richardson agreed to use his influence over the student-athletes he coached to pressure them to retain Dawkins and Sood as a manager and financial advisor, respectively.”
Those documents allege that a $15,000 payment went to Player 5, “who verbally committed to attend” Arizona “on or about Aug. 9, 2017.” Quinerly committed to Arizona Aug. 8. Quinerly was not identify by name in the indictment it is unclear if he every received any money.
Quinerly’s family hired an attorney and he has not commented on the matter. At a USA Basketball event last October, Quinerly did say that neither he nor his family had heard from federal investigators, Yahoo Sports reported.
Yahoo Sports also reported that Villanova hired an outside law firm to examine the case after Quinerly’s family reached out to the staff after the federal probe became public.
“Based on the information they have and the due diligence that they did, they think he’s got a very good chance to play,” a source with knowledge of the recruitment told Yahoo Sports.
Under NCAA regulations, Villanova coach Jay Wright and his staff is forbidden from talking about recruits until they sign a national letter of intent. The next signing period begins April 11.
“All I can say is that we are recruiting him,” Villanova athletic director Mark Jackson said when reached by phone.