The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced federal corruption charges against four NCAA assistant basketball coaches on Tuesday.
The three-year FBI probe focused on coaches being paid tens of thousands of dollars to steer NBA-bound players toward sports agents, financial advisers and apparel companies.
Here’s what we know regarding the federal probe into corruption and fraud in college basketball:
What are the charges?
As announced by U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim at a news conference on Tuesday, federal authorities have brought forth two distinct sets of allegations.
Under the first group of charges, the U.S. Attorney is alleging that assistant coaches at Arizona, Auburn, Oklahoma State and USC “took cash bribes” in order to steer elite basketball players toward certain financial advisors and sports agents. The assistants named in the indictment are Chuck Person (Auburn), Emanuel Richardson (Arizona), Lamont Evans (Oklahoma State) and Tony Bland (USC).
Each of the coaches is charged with bribery conspiracy, solicitation of bribes, honest services fraud conspiracy, honest service fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and Travel Act conspiracy. The U.S. Department of Justice said each of the coaches faces a maximum sentence of 80 years in prison.
In the second set of allegations, authorities say that James Gatto, on behalf of an unnamed “sportswear company,” funneled “six-figure payments” to three players, who, in exchange, committed to play for particular college programs affiliated with the company. Gatto is the director of global sports marketing for Adidas.
This set of charges includes a reference to a “public research university located in Kentucky.” University of Louisville interim president Gregory Postel confirmed in a statement that Louisville is the school mentioned.
Three of the four coaches were arrested Tuesday morning, along with James Gatto, director of global sports marketing for Adidas; Merl Code, another Adidas employee; Christian Dawkins, a former NBA agent; Munish Sood, a financial adviser; and two others.
Who is Marty Blazer?
In U.S. Department of Justice documents obtained by ESPN, Louis Martin “Marty” Blazer III is the witness who cooperated with the FBI in its investigation of the coaches and other defendants.
Blazer, a former Pittsburgh financial adviser who was accused of swindling $2.35 million from five clients by the Securities and Exchange Commission and founded Blazer Capital…