Four AAU teams have been banned by the NCAA from participating in July events because of relationships with an agent, Andy Miller.
Among the four teams are the Florida Rams, coached by Montverde Academy head coach Matt Ramker. Two of the team's most prominent players are Florida commit Kasey Hill and Chris Walker, UF's top remaining target in the Class of 2013.
Although the four AAU squads are banned from participating in the July period, the players can still participate if 1) they play for a different team, or 2) they play as the same team under a different team banner. Either way, the players can't have any guidance from the banned directors.
The Rams are going to do just that: Florida Elite is absorbing the 16U and 17U teams for summer competition, according to ESPN's Dave Telep, and Ramker will not be involved.
How does this affect Florida?
Not as much as you might think. But first, the downsides. There's a chance Hill and Walker might not play on the same team this summer. The two playing together has paid huge dividends for Florida on the recruiting trail. Take a look at what Walker said in a recent interview with SLAM about playing with Hill.
Me and Kasey talk about it all the time, and to be honest, I would love to play with him. Kasey is the truth -- he can score, find the open man, and create for others. It would be really good to play with him.
Another downside: Ramker is seen as a very Florida-friendly coach. He's sent prospects like Ray Shipman, Kenny Kadji, Dillon Graham and Michael Frazier to UF, and he has one committed in Hill. Ramker is considered to be one of the cleanest coaches on the AAU circuit, and it's pretty surprising to see him caught up with an agent (though it doesn't seem like he's doing anything shady other than associating with him). With July being the busiest period for AAU basketball, it would be beneficial to have Ramker mentoring his players because he has their best interests in mind.
All in all, not a lot of damage was done. The NCAA determined there was improper contact between the four AAU directors and a sports agent, but it's nothing damning. Hill and Walker might not have played alongside each other in July, but the Florida Elite move swiftly averted that possibility.
The key is Hill. He's the top point guard in the 2013 class, and he's the key to Florida bringing in a great haul or recruits. Walker knows playing with Hill in college will only make him better.
And Walker playing with Hill in AAU ball is a constant reminder of that.