Federal prosecutors filed charges in Manhattan on Tuesday against 10 people, including four basketball coaches at top-tier universities and an Adidas executive, for allegedly exchanging bribes and kickbacks. They’re accused of funneling star players, including high-school prospects they sought to recruit, toward managers and financial advisers who paid them off.
“The picture painted by the charges brought today is not a pretty one: coaches at some of the nation’s top programs soliciting and accepting cash bribes, managers and financial advisers circling blue-chip prospects like coyotes, and employees of one of the world’s largest sportswear companies secretly funneling cash to the families of high-school recruits,” Joon Kim, the acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said at an afternoon press conference.
The charges were the culmination of a three-year investigation into what Kim called the “dark underbelly of college basketball,” involving figures in some of the nation’s elite programs. Among those charged were Chuck Person, an associate coach at Auburn University and former NBA player, and assistant coaches Lamont Evans of Oklahoma State University, Anthony Bland of the University of Southern California, and Emanuel Richardson of the University of Arizona. Prosecutors also filed charges against Jim Gatto, the director of global sports marketing at Adidas. The other defendants are business managers and financial advisers who allegedly cultivated the coaches to secure a pipeline of future clients.