The FBI has arrested 10 people, including four college basketball assistant coaches, in connection to a corruption scheme, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday morning.
BREAKING NEWS / NBC: The FBI has arrested several NCAA asst. basketball coaches in a corruption scheme. Presser @ 12n with U.S. Attorney
— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) September 26, 2017
According to court documents, the basketball coaches facing charges are Oklahoma State associate head coach Lamont Evans, Arizona assistant Book Richardson, USC associate head coach Tony Bland and Auburn associate head coach Chuck Person for receiving benefits in “excess of $10,000 under a Federal program involving a grant, contract, subsidy, loan, guarantee, insurance and other form of Federal Assistance.” In total, 10 people were charged in New York City federal court, including managers, financial advisers and Adidas director of sports marketing Jim Gatto.
The FBI claims it has been monitoring the criminal influence of money on NCAA coaches and athletes since 2015, and their investigation revealed several bribes:
“The investigation has revealed multiple instances of bribes paid by athlete advisors, including financial advisors and business managers, as well as high-level apparel company employees, and facilitated by coaches employed by NCAA division 1 universities, to student-athletes playing at or bound for NCAA D-1 universities, and the families of such athletes, in exchange for a commitment by those athletes to matriculate at a specific university and a promise to ultimately sign agreements to be represented by the bribe-payors once the athletes enter the NBA.”
According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, Gatto conspired with college programs to pay high school players to attend Adidas schools so that the players would later sign with Adidas when they turned pro.
Feds: adidas head of sports marketing Jim Gatto, with others, paid high school players to go to adidas schools, then sign with adidas later.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) September 26, 2017
In Person’s case, he allegedly received over $90,000 in bribes for funneling Auburn players to a particular financial advisor and suit maker Rashan Michel.
And it appears Louisville, which recently signed one of the most lucrative shoe deals in college sports with Adidas, gave a recruit $100,000 in exchange for a commitment.
This is what allegedly went on that the school that appears to be Louisville. 100k funneled to a recruit in exchange for commitment. pic.twitter.com/gyzkKaTcfM
— Jeff Eisenberg (@JeffEisenberg) September 26, 2017
These allegations aren’t a huge surprise to anyone who follows college basketball, but seeing them in an official FBI report creates quite stain on the sport.