According to a report from ESPN, four college basketball coaches are among a group facing federal charges in Manhattan federal court of fraud and corruption in the NCAA. They include Chuck Person of Auburn University, Emanuel Richardson of the University of Arizona, Tony Bland of the University of Southern California and Lamont Evans of Oklahoma State. The others being charged include managers and financial advisers and representatives of a major international sportswear company.
ESPN reports that since 2015, the FBI has been investigating the criminal influence of money on coaches and so-called student-athletes who participate in the big-money NCAA sport of men’s basketball. Apparently, the investigation has revealed numerous instances of bribes being paid to advisers of these athletes and their coaches in exchange for directing the athletes to retain the services of those paying the bribes.
The court papers describe this web of illicit influence as follows:
[C]oaches have enormous influence over the student-athletes who play for them, in particular with respect to guiding those student-athletes through the process of selecting agents and other advisers when they prepare to leave college and enter the NBA. . . . [They] have exercised that influence by steering players and their families to retain particular advisers, not because of the merits of those advisers, but because the coaches were being bribed by the advisers to do so.
Stay tuned as more information is revealed on this latest chapter of the never-ending saga of the treatment and mistreatment of NCAA big-money athletes.
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