Sport

USA charges NCAA basketball coaches with bribery, fraud

USA charges NCAA basketball coaches with bribery, fraud”

The scheme, according to prosecutors, involved top coaches funneling student-athletes to agents and financial advisers in return for cash bribes, according to the prosecutors.

According to court documents, Gatto and others allegedly made payments to high school athletes and their families at least three times in 2017 for a commitment by the players to play basketball for two universities.

In court papers, prosecutors said the Federal Bureau of Investigation has since 2015 been investigating the criminal influence of money on coaches and student-athletes who participate in intercollegiate basketball governed by the NCAA.

Update: NBC reports that basketball coaches Lamont Evans of Oklahoma State, Chuck Person of Auburn University, Emanuel Richardson of Arizona and Tony Bland of USC have all been charged in the case. Person and Evans immediately were suspended.

Joon Kim, the acting US attorney in Manhattan, told a press conference the defendants showed "contempt" for players and coaches who follow the rules.

Among those also charged were James Gatto, director for global sports marketing for basketball at Adidas; Rashan Michel, who runs an Atlanta apparel company; New Jersey money manager Munish Sood; and Christian Dawkins, a former ASM Sports agent who prosecutors said was sacked in May. Authorities say they were caught taking thousands of dollars in bribes to steer stars toward certain agents or advisers.

They say the payments were orchestrated by an Adidas executive and business advisers who hoped to work with the players after they turned professional.

Auburn President Steven Leath said on Twitter the school was "saddened, angry and disappointed" by the news. "We're unaware of any misconduct and will fully cooperate with authorities to understand more", an Adidas official said.

The University of Louisville has also confirmed it received notice of being included in the federal investigation.

The Department of Justice announced today that 10 people have been arrested, with four of them being assistant coaches.

The player's name was not released, but details in the criminal complaint - including references to news coverage of his signing - make it clear investigators were referring to Brian Bowen.

Auburn basketball associate head coach Chuck Person was released from custody Tuesday afternoon in Montgomery and has been ordered to appear in federal court in NY in early October. Both universities said they hold their athletic programs to high standards and pledged to cooperate with the investigation.



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