Yet another scandal is rocking the collegiate athletics world.
Four assistant coaches at Division I basketball schools have been arrested by the FBI and face charges of corruption and fraud, according an announcement from the U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday.
“All of those charged today contributed to a pay-to-play culture that has no business in college basketball,” said William Sweeney, the FBI’s Assistant Director in Charge.
The assistant coaches charged are Chuck Person (Auburn), Lamont Evans (Oklahoma State), Emmanuel “Book” Richardson (Arizona), and Tony Bland (Southern Cal).
According to the New York Times, complaints charge that the latter three coaches took bribes to steer certain players to certain agents. In the case of Person, who was the NBA Rookie of the Year with Pacers in 1987, he allegedly took bribes to steer certain players toward a financial adviser for professional athletes.
FBI arrests NCAA coaches for allegedly bribing high schoolers pic.twitter.com/ARtG2z0uxX
— Justin Miller (@justinjm1) September 26, 2017
“The picture painted by the charges brought today is not a pretty one,” said Joon H. Kim, the acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. “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.”
Another person named in court documents is James Gatto, director of global sports marketing at Adidas.
From the New York Times:
The complaint says about $100,000 was to be paid to the family of “Player-10,” a heavily recruited high school standout, to steer him to a particular college. It says contemporary news accounts described his college decision, announced this past June, as a surprise. Payments were arranged for other players’ families as well, the complaint says, including one who had not yet begun his junior year of high school.
The player who was to receive the $100,000 and the university recruiting him were not named, but the college is identified as being in Kentucky, and details point to the University of Louisville, which has an identical enrollment to the program in question. This summer, Louisville signed a 10-year, $160 million apparel contract with Adidas.
Louisville’s interim president later confirmed that the school is under federal investigation.
Statement from U of L acknowledges school is under investigation "involving criminal activity" with basketball recruiting pic.twitter.com/309Thh8Jge
— Jason Riley (@JasonRileyWDRB) September 26, 2017
Stay tuned as more details become available on this ongoing story.