NEW YORK — Four NCAA Division 1 assistant and associate coaches, and an Adidas executive, are among 10 suspects indicted Tuesday on federal corruption and fraud charges.
The coaches, Lamont Evans of Oklahoma State, Chuck Person of Auburn University, Emanuel Richardson of the University of Arizona and Tony Bland the University of Southern California, are accused of accepting thousands of dollars in bribes to steer players toward particular financial advisers, and in Person’s case, also a suit retailer.
“By allegedly accepting bribes, the four coaches not only breached their obligations to their schools, violated NCAA rules and betrayed the trust of their players,” Joon Kim, acting U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York, said at a Tuesday press conference. “They also committed serious federal crimes, as did the managers and advisers who paid them.”
Evans, Richardson and Bland are accused of taking tens of thousands of dollars in bribes to advise players to use the services of Munish Sood, chief executive of financial advisory company Princeton Capital, and Christian Dawkins, a business manager, for services after the players turned pro.
“We were shocked to learn this morning through news reports about the FBI investigation and arrests related to NCAA basketball programs, including the arrest of USC assistant coach Tony Bland,” the University of Southern California said in a statement released to media Tuesday.”USC Athletics maintains the highest standards in athletic compliance across all of our programs and does not tolerate misconduct in any way. We will cooperate fully with the investigation and will assist authorities as needed, and if these allegations are true, will take the needed actions.”
The deals were allegedly brokered by Jonathan Brand Augustine, who runs an Adidas-sponsored AAU basketball team, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Manhattan.
“For these men, bribing coaches was a business investment,” Kim said. “They knew the corrupt coaches, in return for bribes, would pressure players to use their own services.…they also knew that if and when those players turned pro, that would mean big bucks for them.”
Jim Gatto, the head of global sports marketing at Adidas, and Merl Code, another Adidas employee, are accused of paying high school students money to play basketball at particular schools sponsored by Adidas — identified in charging documents only as a “global athletic apparel company” — and later to…