FBI Arrests NCAA Coaches, Adidas Executive In Crackdown On College Basketball Corruption

Tyler Durden's picture

In a broad crackdown on college basketball corruption, U.S. prosecutors unveiled charges Tuesday against 10 coaches, managers, financial advisers and representatives of a sportswear company, accusing them of bribery, fraud and corruption in recruitment in college basketball. Additionally, a key part of the case includes allegations that an executive at a global apparel company bribed students to attend universities where the company sponsored athletic programs.

The Department of Justice announced Tuesday that  college basketball coaches at University of Arizona, Auburn, University of Southern California, and Oklahoma State University had been arrested, as well as managers, financial advisors, and representatives of a major international sportswear company. The defendants include coaches at top U.S. college basketball programs, one agent, one financial adviser and a former referee. The coaches are Lamont Evans, an assistant at Oklahoma State University, Emanuel Richardson, an assistant for the Arizona Wildcats, and Chuck Person, associate head coach at Auburn University.

Jim Gatto, director of global sports marketing for basketball at Adidas, was also named as a defendant. According to the complaint, Gatto allegedly conspired with coaches to pay high school athletes to play at universities sponsored by Adidas (or as it is referred to in the complaints, "Company 1").

According to Business Insider, Gatto and four other defendants have charged with "making and concealing bribe payments" to high school student athletes and/or their families. In one instance, Gatto and the other defendants reportedly funneled $100,000 to the family of a high school basketball player to convince the player to sign with a "public research university" in Kentucky.

In another case, Gatto and other defendants allegedly agreed to make payments up to $150,000 from Adidas to convince the player to join another team sponsored by the apparel company, a private university in Florida, according to filings. The university is not named, but based on information provided is likely University of Miami, which entered into a 12-year partnership with Adidas in 2015.

The investigation, which was been in progress since 2015, has been led by the FBI and the US Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York. Three separate complaints have been filed. 

Other defendants include Jonathan Brad Augustine, president of nonprofit The League Initiative; Merl Code, the head of Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League as of 2013; and Christian Dawkins, a former sports agent who was reportedly fired in May for charging $42,000 in Uber rides on an NBA player’s credit card.

The coaches named as defendants in the cases include Anthony “Tony” Bland, associate head coach at University of Southern California and former assistant coach at San Diego State; Chuck Connors Person, associate head coach at Auburn University; Lamont Evans, associate head coach and recruiting coordinator for Oklahoma State University’s basketball team and former South Carolina assistant coach; and Emmanuel Richardson, an assistant coach for University of Arizona.

Investigators have been looking at whether coaches at these schools have been paid by outside entities—such as financial advisers, agents, and apparel companies—in exchange for pressuring players to associate with those entities, people familiar with the investigation said. Executives at at least one apparel company are expected to be among those arrested, a person familiar with the matter said.

* * *

According to the WSJ, law-enforcement officials are expected to arrest at least a half-dozen people and unseal charges Tuesday "as part of a wide-ranging investigation into alleged bribery and kickback schemes at several of the country’s top-tier college basketball programs, people familiar with the matter said."

The investigation, which is being led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office, has shed light on the highly competitive recruiting pipeline that brings elite high-school basketball players through Division I college programs and into the professional leagues, and the role played by assistant coaches in that process, WSJ sources said.

The multi-million dollar battle for top-tier college basketball teams is hard fought amongst sportswear giants. The visibility of being worn by a certain team or high-profile player is a valuable marketing opportunity for apparel companies, despite the fact that NCAA players cannot be paid to endorse brands.

In the 2016 NCAA men's basketball tournament, Nike was the clear leader, providing uniforms for 41 entrants, the Baltimore Sun reported. Adidas provided outfits for 14 teams, Under Armour outfitted 10 teams, and Russell Athletic outfitted three.

Under Armour has made major investments in college basketball in recent years. In 2016, the company made a $280 million agreement to replace Adidas as the UCLA men's basketball team's shoe and apparel sponsor for the next 15 years. Under Armour has also cut deals in recent deals with teams including Notre Dame, Auburn, and Wisconsin.

A live feed of the FBI press conference is below:

The complaint against Gatto is below. The three complaints can be read in their entirety at the following links: complaint 1, complaint 2, complaint 3.

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corporatewhore's picture

Basketball coaches are so much easier to arrest than Hillary Rodham Clinton

Dusty Rhodes' Muffler's picture

No doubt...this seems kinda, pointless? I dunno...

El Oregonian's picture

No worries, I'm sure they have basketball courts in the hooskow.

Joe Davola's picture

Corruption in college basketball, I'm shocked.  Sounds like the plot for Goodfellas 2 - Take a Knee and a Few Grand on the Side.


macholatte's picture


In a broad crackdown on political corruption, U.S. prosecutors unveiled charges Tuesday against 10 Clinton Cronies, MSM owners, reporters, Banksters and some Senators and Congressmen accusing them of bribery, fraud and corruption.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for that one.


The Alarmist's picture

I'm shocked! Shocked to hear there is corruption in college sports.

For all the money these guys are rolling in, they obviously don't pay enough political contributions.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Never mind Hillary Clinton and corrupt Clinton Crime Family, Amerika is go after corruption in world of collegiate sport.

FBI - decaying shell of former self.

Gaius Frakkin' Baltar's picture

A war on sports is not an irrelevant thing.

It has been a continuous distraction for decades. If it goes, more people may start looking around.

jcaz's picture

I used to roll around in this mud as the finance guy,  my only surprise is that it took this long to come to light......

When you pay college coaches 7 figure salaries,  that's one thing....  When you pay the staff assistant coaches nearly as much,  you gotta start wondering what exactly for......

The Juggernaut's picture

Great to see Boris, again.  Refreshing observations.  As for the FBI... really guys?  THIS is what you've been up to?  Pointless.

RAT005's picture

It's just recruitment. No issues with legitimate game outcomes. Seems like a big nothing burger to me.

IH8OBAMA's picture

Your risk of being indicted for felonous activities is inversely porportional to your Congressional and Presidential donations and friendships.

ergatz's picture

They're CRACKING DOWN on everything but the MOST CORRUPT institution in America: the FED. https://goo.gl/2SIIh0

Lumberjack's picture

Student loans, no money down, bad credit....

LightBulb18's picture

So do you figure the fbi is cracking down on right wing owned teams or left wing owned teams? Is this A threat not to become political, or to relent and become political?

auricle's picture

They will be let go because as Comey says 'it's so hard to prove criminal intent'.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Beyond funny, how come nobody has spotted it yet?

The gubbermint is going to "take over" the running of all amateur and professonal sport in America....... for the children of couse, only for the chilluns.

Can you imagine that?

It's coming. And the indoctrination will be stronger..... stand, bow, kneel and PRAY!

World Cash Day's picture

Trump has put his man in at the FBI - Christopher Wray - Chris won't waste time on small-time busts, he will go to the heart of corruption in the US and won't mess around.

Trump's man CHRIS WRAY will destory the Clinton Crime Cabal as Trump wouldn't have hired him without a guarantee the FBI will go after the DNC Corruption that obviously leads to Podesta & Clinton.

Wray is in there now on Trump's orders to help the President fight his battles against his Deep State enemies.

Else - why hire him?

Trump ain't stupid - he might be the smartest President the US has ever had afterall!

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Sure hope you're right about Wray, but tbqh you're probably a little overoptimistic here.

7thGenMO's picture

"The appearance of the law must be upheld, especially while it's being broken!"

- Boss Tweed - Gangs of New York

rosiescenario's picture

Yes, Hilary's corrupt "pay for play" is hardly anythng new for corrrupt politicians. If Boss Tweed had run our state dept he would done the same....

7thGenMO's picture

Bingo! - .gov hangs a few petty crook coaches to satisfy sheeple angered by Kneelgate while our modern day Tweed (HRC) swims free in The Swamp.

His name was Seth Rich.

Bay of Pigs's picture

Wray worked under both Bush and Comey and represented Christie over his bridge scandal. Look at his old firms clients. Monsanto, Chevron, GM head the list.

Locks like another Swamp Dweller to me.



Joe Davola's picture

If people were only being payed to play, they got some work to do to catch up to The U!

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

College basketball is probably just the tip of the iceberg. Check out college football it's probably 10x worse.

Bigly's picture

Jim Calhoun and Geno Auriemma built a machine in college basketball.That nasty Susan Herbst is bitching bc bankrupt CT wants to pull some funding. I would not be surprised if something stank in there somewhere.

Why don't they take 50% of the slush generated by basketball to fund  the real reason that school is CHARTERED TO DO and leave the taxpayers alone?

I hate that school's 'leadership'. They suck.


Yog Soggoth's picture

I remember when Miami got in trouble for buying that kid a brand new corvette at 75,000$ which would be even more nowadays. Now that's recruiting! No wonder they were winning for years.

SoDamnMad's picture

Boris  Zdras voit ia  Where have you been hiding?  Did Mueller drag you in and interrogate you for Russian meddling in the election?

any_mouse's picture

Questionable "former self" of FBI.

rosiescenario's picture

Hey....look over there.....squirrel just made a jump shot....

Blue Steel 309's picture

FBI began as a corrupt thug force with prohibition. It has never been anything but a private police force for the rich.

They spend a nominal amount of effort going after the most heinous of criminals, but that is more like PR to hide what the rest does.

nmewn's picture

Seven UF players about to be charged with felony credit card fraud down in my neck of the woods. 

Of course coaches and administrators are all "shocked and saddened" by the news and naturally doing the right thing in giving the boosters a head's up on all the latest developments coming out of the DA's office  ;-)

Yog Soggoth's picture

Eh, Gators are a yankee college anyways.

spiral galaxy's picture

Now for headline, I'd take a knee and praise the Lord!! :-)

J Jason Djfmam's picture

"Headlines we'd like too see."

chubbar's picture

Until FBI agents are ready to step up and turn states evidence against the FBI leadership responsible for covering up the various felonies that Hillary committed, I remain unimpressed with anything these fucking turncoats do. There isn't a set of nuts between all the fucking agents combined, as long as these crimes remain unprosecuted. Fuck you FBI.

Jack McGriff's picture

Entitled niggers not following the law?  Watching pavement apes swing on trash can lids and play with balls seems rather boring.  What exactly does one get out of watching such foolishness?

Lewshine's picture

Liberal academia, the end justify the means! Charges yes, convictions NO! The law does not apply to Liberals! In fact, it's offensive and racist to assume so!!

Buckaroo Banzai's picture


It's a great time to be alive, famalams.

BullyBearish's picture

"professional" S P O R T S  =  O P I A T E


they've centralized/financialized anything that provides them control...participation/attention/engagement enhances their power


Unbank, cut the cord, ignore "professional" sports...spread the word

booboo's picture

Plenty of guards, forwards and centers in the big house as well. Bah, never mind no one does any time, book it.

earleflorida's picture

southpark's 'cartman wants in on the slave-trade atheletes?

billion $$$ enterPRISE`es


tropicthunder's picture

Basketball coaches are so much easier to arrest than fucking terrorists..

kliguy38's picture

They're fucking crooked as the day is long and they need to get a wake up call. Millions going to these pricks and the thugs they bring in to these universities.....its all a swamp

HardAssets's picture

'Its all a swamp'

When are they gonna arrest the high level pedophiles & participants in child trafficking?

Websearch the Dr Dave Janda interview with US Navy SEAL Craig 'Sawman' Sawyer