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Monday, December 11, 2017

Four NCAA basketball assistants arrested in alleged fraud scheme involving Adidas

The FBI announced on Tuesday that four NCAA basketball coaches are among the 10 people who have been arrested and charged with fraud and corruption in an alleged scandal involving a top executive at Adidas.

According to the indictments, Auburn assistant coach Chuck Person, Southern California assistant Tony Bland, Arizona assistant Emanuel Richardson and Oklahoma State assistant Lamont Evans were involved in a massive bribery scheme in which Jim Gatto, director of global marketing for Adidas Basketball, paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars in an attempt to funnel top recruits to Adidas-sponsored programs.

TMZ obtained some of the relevant court documents, which claim Gatto tried to pay $100,000 to a player and his family to get the player to commit to a certain school.

“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,” the documents read.

Person is accused of collecting more than $90,000 in bribes in exchange for funneling Auburn players to a particular financial adviser and a custom suit-maker named Rashan Michel. Investigators say Person used a portion of the bribe money to pay off top recruits and their families.

Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo Sports shared more details from the indictments, which appear to show that Louisville is one of the schools involved in the scandal.

Louisville head coach Rick Pitino has been suspended five games and the school has been placed on probation over a prostitution scandal involving recruits. Any sanctions the program may end up facing for the latest allegations could be devastating.

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