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FBI arrests NCAA coaches involved in corruption scheme

Oklahoma State assistant Lamont Evans

The FBI has arrested several assistant college basketball coaches involved in a corruption scheme.

Oklahoma State’s Lamont Evans, Emanuel Richardson of Arizona, Tony Bland of USC, and Auburn University’s Chuck Person – a former NBA player – are some the coaches charged in the corruption scheme, according to court documents. 

A U.S. Attorney will hold a press conference at noon.

Court documents show that the U.S. Attorney and FBI had been investigating the illegal influence of bribes on coaches and players since 2015.

The filing claims that the investigation revealed ‘numerous instances’ of athlete advisers bribing assistant coaches and student athletes at top basketball schools in order to persuade college basketball players to sign with various agents after turning professional. Top high school recruits and their families were also bribed so as to push them towards particular schools, although the filing does not name any university specifically.  

According to those documents, Evans, Richardson, and Bland received payments in “excess of $10,000 under a Federal program involving a grant, contract, subsidy, loan, guarantee, insurance and other form of Federal Assistance.”

In all, 10 people were charged in New York City federal court, including managers, financial advisers, and sportswear company representatives.  

Adidas global sports marketing director Jim Gatto was also named as a defendant, and according to the allegations, he conspired with coaches to pay recruits to play at Adidas-sponsored schools. Gatto and four others were charged with “making and concealing bribe payments” to students and their families.  

Former NBA player and assistant coach Chuck Person was among the 10 charged. He currently serves as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Auburn University 

Former NBA player and assistant coach Chuck Person was among the 10 charged. He currently serves as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Auburn University 

Specifically, Gatto and his fellow defendants are accused of funneling $100,000 to the family of a recruit in order to persuade that player to attend a school in Kentucky. That school was not named, but Louisville did sign a $160 million deal with Adidas in August.

A school spokesman did not immediately respond to request for comment. 

An undercover agent connected with the investigation claimed that Gatto told other defendants that the bribes were on his company’s books, but were not allocated honestly. 

Combined, Evans, Richardson and Bland face 11 charges, including conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, travel act conspiracy, and conspiracy to commit honest services fraud. 

Evans allegedly earned $22,000 in bribes between his time at Oklahoma State during a previous tenure at South Carolina.

Person allegedly agreed to take $50,000 in bribes from a cooperating witness in exchange for steering players to a particular agent.    

Person is facing six charges, including bribery conspiracy, solicitation of bribes and gratuities, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and travel act conspiracy.

The charges stem from events between September 2016 and September 2017, according to AL.com.

The FBI and Justice Department had been investigating the alleged conspiracy since 2015

The FBI and Justice Department had been investigating the alleged conspiracy since 2015

Adidas global sports marketing director Jim Gatto was also named as a defendant 

Adidas global sports marketing director Jim Gatto was also named as a defendant 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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