US Attorney: coaches among those arrested in connection with NCAA basketball fraud investigation

US Attorney: coaches among those arrested in connection with NCAA basketball fraud investigation

A widespread investigation into a corruption scheme between coaches at NCAA Division-1 basketball programs, an international apparel company, and financial advisors led to the arrest of 10 men on Tuesday, according to an announcement [text] by an acting US Attorney and an FBI [government websites] assistant director.

According to the criminal complaints [US v. Chuck Person and Rashan Michel, US v. James Gatto, US v. Lamont Evans, PDF] the scheme involved coaches accepting cash bribes from apparel companies, including Adidas [corporate website], in exchange for steering student-athlete players, high school recruits, and their family members, to corrupt financial advisors.

According to the announcement, those arrested on Tuesday include:

Chuck Connors Person, assistant coach at Auburn
Rashan Michel, former NCAA and NBA referee, and clothier
Lamont Evans, assistant coach at Oklahoma State
Emanuel “Book” Richardson, assistant coach at Arizona
Anthony “Tony” Bland, assistant coach at USC
Christian Dawkins, sports agent
Munish Sood, financial advisor
James “Jim” Gatto, head of global sports marketing at Adidas
Merl Code, employee at Adidas
Jonathan Brad Augustine, president of the League Initiative [official profile], program director of 1-Family AAU

Although he has not been arrested or named in any of the complaints, University of Louisville head coach Rick Pitino [official profile] was “ousted” by the program on Wednesday [NYT report] in response to the team’s alleged involvement with the scheme. Federal prosecutors have accused two unidentified Louisville coaches of accepting bribes from Adidas to steer high school recruits to the program. Louisville interim president Greg Postel said [press release] the University would cooperate with the ongoing FBI investigation.

Pitino was placed on unpaid administrative leave indefinitely, a move his attorney characterized [statement, Twitter] as being “in effect … fired.” At this time, it is unclear if charges will be brought against Pitino who, through his attorney, has maintained his innocence. The program was recently sanctioned for a scandal [Deadspin report] involving the use of prostitutes at dorm parties in an effort to recruit players.