Three sentenced to prison as ‘great big warning light’ for college basketball

first_imgTwo head coaches, Arizona’s Sean Miller and LSU’s Will Wade, have been notified that they’ll be subpoenaed to testify in that trial.Still another trial, involving former Auburn assistant Chuck Person and former NBA referee Rashan Michel and charges that they accepted bribes, is scheduled for June. Speaking in his Manhattan court, Kaplan said the sentences should be “a great big warning light to the basketball world.”The three were found guilty in a three-week trial in October on felony wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud charges after they were found to be directing money from the athletic-wear company to the families of high-profile college basketball recruits to get them to play for so-called “Adidas programs” like Louisville, NC State and Kansas, among others. The money came with the understanding that the players, when they turned pro, would not only sign with Adidas but also use certain financial planners and business managers also accused of being involved in the scheme.Among other allegations against the men, they were accused of conspiring to pay $100,000, funneled from Adidas, to five-star prospect Brian Bowen’s father to influence Bowen to sign with Louisville in the summer of 2017.And while Gatto, Code and Dawkins have been sentenced to prison time, pending appeals, former Louisville coach Rick Pitino didn’t go unmentioned in Tuesday’s sentencing hearing.Kaplan — who couched his comments by saying there was no legal finding against Pitino — said the defendants were trying to cover Pitino’s tracks “to the extent that they could” and give him “plausible deniability.” Pitino was fired, in part, because of the scandal.The three men will remain free while they appeal their convictions, according to Law360. If their appeals fail, then they’ll serve their sentences in a minimum-security federal prison, Kaplan said.In a separate case involving Code and Dawkins, they are scheduled for a second trial in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on April 22 in which they’re accused of bribing three college basketball assistants, all of whom have reached plea agreements with federal prosecutors. Three men convicted of wrongdoing uncovered by a federal authorities in their investigation of college basketball recruiting were sentenced Tuesday to prison for their parts in pay-for-play schemes to steer high-profile recruits to Adidas-sponsored programs.U.S. District Court Judge Lewis A. Kaplan sentenced former Adidas executive James Gatto to nine months in federal prison, former Adidas consultant Merl Code to six months and agent runner Christian Dawkins to six months, per Law360. last_img read more