The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York has brought charges against four assistant coaches for NCAA basketball programs from Arizona, Auburn, Oklahoma State, and Southern California.
Specific charges detail the coaches taking “thousands of dollars in bribes to steer NBA-destined college stars toward certain sports agents and financial advisers,” according to ESPN.
The coaches named are Auburn’s Chuck Person, Arizona’s Emmanuel Richardson, USC’s Tony Bland, and Oklahoma State’s Lamont Evans.
Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Joon H. Kim, told reporters at a news conference on Tuesday that the investigation exposed the dark underbelly of high-profile college basketball recruiting. Kim said,
“The picture painted by the charges brought today is not a pretty one. Coaches at some of the nation’s top programs soliciting and accepting cash bribes. Managers and financial advisers circling blue-chip prospects like coyotes. And employees of one of the world’s largest sportswear companies secretly funneling cash to the families of high school recruits.”
Here’s a list of other people charged in the investigation, from ESPN:
– James Gatto, director of global sports marketing at Adidas.
– Merl Code, who recently left Nike for Adidas.
– Christian Dawkins, an NBA agent who was fired in May from ASM Sports for charging approximately $42,000 in Uber charges on a player’s credit card.
– Jonathan Brad Augustine, president of The League Initiative and program director of the Adidas-sponsored 1 Family AAU program.
– Munish Sood, a financial adviser.
– Rashan Michel, a former NBA official who founded Thompson Bespoke Clothing, a custom clothier for athletes.
Also named in the report is a “public research university located in Kentucky,” which was confirmed to be the University of Louisville.
The investigation outlines representatives of sportswear companies like Adidas and Nike paying players to go to certain schools or sign with certain agents after they leave school. And while these assistant coaches charged were the moneymen, it’s impossible to believe that higher-ups at these institutions were unaware of the activity.
The NCAA is a sham. The rules against paying ‘student-athletes’ for their labor will result in shady deals like we see in this investigation forever. This is the way it’s always been and will continue to be until the NCAA is toppled or their entire model is changed.
This is only the beginning as the investigation is said to be “ongoing.” One has to imagine there are more charges to come.