The Tartan

FBI probe hits NCAA and some key programs

By Robert Ragsdale, Staff Writer

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Last month  the FBI made public some of the details from a several month long investigation into the NCAA, as well as several top college athletic programs, clothing companies and sports agencies. The results of the investigation were ten arrests made on the morning of Monday, September 24th.

The four universities listed by name in the report were: Auburn, USC, Oklahoma State, and Arizona. Assistant coaches at each of these universities have been charged with bribery conspiracy, solicitation of bribes, honest services fraud conspiracy, honest service fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and Travel Act conspiracy. Each coach could face up to 80 years in prison.

The coaches charged were Chuck Person from Auburn, Emmanuel Richardson from Arizona, Lamont Evans from Oklahoma State and Tony Bland from USC.

The report also made reference to a “public research university located in Kentucky” This school has been confirmed as Louisville by their interim president Gregory Postel. In the days since the report’s release, Louisville has placed long time head coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich on unpaid administrative leave. An act many believe to be a precursor to their firings in the upcoming weeks. It is also now believed that Rick Pitino may be “Coach-2” in the federal complaint. If true, it would allege that Rick Pitino helped funnel $100,000 to a high school basketball recruit to get a commitment to his program.

For now these are the only programs with employees facing charges, however in a press conference in September an FBI spokesperson warned that other programs could be involved in the corruption scandal, and gave out a tip line for people to call if they have any information about corruption in the NCAA, going as far as to say “… If you are involved in this, call us. It will be better for you to call us, than for us to call you.”

Alongside the coaches, six other people were charged surrounding this case. James Gatto and Merl Code, who are both Adidas employees, as well as former sports agent Christian Dawkins and financial advisor Munish Sood. There were also two more arrests made, the names of those charged is unknown at this time.

Along with the involvement of Adidas in this scandal, the FBI complaint also references several other clothing companies. One of these clothing companies is heavily speculated to be Nike. Nike’s involvement was seemingly confirmed when the FBI issued subpoenas to Nike’s youth basketball league. That league usually consists of the top 100 basketball recruits in the nation, and would be a useful platform to reach out to recruits and their families.

As this is an ongoing investigation into the corruption within collegiate athletics, more accusations or arrests may be made in the weeks to come.

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FBI probe hits NCAA and some key programs