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.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan said Tuesday the charges followed a two-year investigation into criminal influence in NCAA basketball. According to Bloomberg, among those charged are four coaches, who are accused of steering players to advisers who had paid bribes to the coaches. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan said they will announce the charges against the defendants at a noon news conference.
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.
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.”
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 least one apparel company are expected to be among those arrested, a person 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.