Arizona, USC basketball coaches among 10 charged with fraud and corruption

JOHN MILLER, AP

FILE – In this Dec. 11, 2013, file photo, Arizona’s assistant coach Emanuel Richardson watches from the sideline during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against New Mexico State in Tucson, Ariz. Richardson was identified in court papers, and is among 10 people facing federal charges in Manhattan federal court, Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, in a wide probe of fraud and corruption in the NCAA, authorities said (AP Photo/John Miller, File)

NEW YORK — Four assistant basketball coaches from Arizona, Auburn, the University of Southern California and Oklahoma State were among those arrested on federal corruption charges Tuesday after they were caught taking thousands of dollars in bribes to steer NBA-destined college stars toward certain sports agents and financial advisers, authorities said.

The coaches were identified as Chuck Person of Auburn University, Emanuel Richardson of the University of Arizona, Tony Bland of USC and Lamont Evans of Oklahoma State. Among the six others charged were managers, financial advisers and the director of global sports marketing at Adidas.

“The picture of college basketball painted by the charges is not a pretty one,” said acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim at a news conference. “Coaches at some of the nation’s top programs taking cash bribes, managers and advisers circling blue-chip prospects like coyotes, and employees of a global sportswear company funneling cash to families of high school recruits.

Since 2015, the FBI has been investigating the criminal influence of money on coaches and players in the NCAA, federal authorities said.

“For the 10 charged men, the madness of college basketball went well beyond the Big Dance in March,” Kim said. “Month after month, the defendants exploited the hoop dreams of student-athletes around the country, allegedly treating them as little more than opportunities to enrich themselves through bribery and fraud schemes.”

Investigators said the coaches have “enormous influence” over their players and how they select their agents and other advisers when they leave college and enter the NBA.

“The investigation has revealed several instances in which coaches have…

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