To Circumvent NCAA Rules, Federal Laws Were Alleged to be Broken

Today is one of the darkest days in College Basketball History.

It’s a dark day not because of the intent of removing corruption, bribery and fraud on the part of the FBI and acting U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of New York, Joon H. Kim, but rather because College Basketball now has a damaged reputation with the general public and student-athletes were defrauded by the people they placed trust.  The NCAA, the various conferences, the institutions and local authorities failed to act when illegal activity (not mere NCAA violations, actual Federal crimes) was alleged to have taken place.  The FBI stepped up when everyone else looked the other way or could not take action due to inability to monitor.  Those with concerns about the NCAA and their potential response should stop thinking about them and their role in this matter, this is an ongoing CRIMINAL investigation with serious financial crimes to be investigated and possibly tried.

To re-hash the various cases would be a waste of time and the best sources of information regarding this bust would be directly from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York.  Those who wish to see Joon H. Kim’s full press conference from September 26, 2017 can do so here.

There are several criminal complaints and based on acting U.S. Attorney Kim’s language, there will likely be more and this certainly is not a time to gloat.  It is a time to clean up a felonious mess that plagues College Athletics as a whole.

This was a wide-ranging probe from the Adidas Head of Global Marketing, James Gatto, trying to influence High School stars to be loyal to the Adidas brand so that they can endorse as professionals to slimy Financial Advisors and Haberdashers influencing the decision-making of someone who is about to graduate High School.

It may seem simple, but the lengths that all who were involved in shaping the decisions of teenagers and their families are charged with committing Federal Crimes just so they could circumvent the NCAA rules and win.

Here are links to each complaint.  They are best explanations of what happened and there’s no point of re-hashing it when it is explained best by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

United States of America v. James Gatto, Merl Code, Christian Dawkins, Jonathan Brad Augustine, and Munish Sood.

U.S. v. Chuck Person and Rashan Michel 

United States of America v. Lamont Evans, Emanuel Richardson, Anthony Bland, Christian Dawkins, Munish Sood

In the individual complaints, the Universities and student-athletes were not identified as they were not being charged with a crime.  The institutions identified based on the obvious clues in the documents are listed below.

  • Auburn University
  • University of Arizona
  • University of Louisville
  • University of Miami
  • Oklahoma State University
  • University of South Carolina
  • University of Southern California

Institutions that are possibly affected that are not mentioned in the documents:

  • University of Illinois
  • San Diego State University

This is quite a wide-ranging list of programs from across the country in power conferences.  The investigations do continue and there is more to come as far as the findings of the probe.

The raid at ASM Sports took place because Christian Dawkins was an employee of ASM until May 2017.

So What Now for College Basketball?

It is telling that the FBI kept the NCAA in the dark of this matter until announcing this probe and the arrests associated with it today.  The NCAA is toothless, corrupt and even puts their own matters before the matters of the legal system.  NCAA rule violations are not illegal, they are just rule violations per the NCAA, which is a private organization with a pseudo-monopoly on collegiate athletics.  The NCAA Compliance Office may have been picking winners and losers when it comes to their own investigations and doling out punishments, which could be a major revelation and a possible reason why the FBI did not want to inform the NCAA of their probe.

It is too early to truly speculate on what could happen next considering that there are likely more individuals and programs implicated.  Sports journalists tried to paint this as a situation where every coach is nervous, but not every coach is wrapped up into this probe.  Coaches who steered clear of trying to do whatever it took to circumvent NCAA rules on compensation are not going to be affected, but their respect for the NCAA as an institution may diminish.

Do fans, journalists, alumni, students and coaches have an idea of what programs operate in a fashion that is unseemly and illegal?  Yes, but it is almost all speculation and hearsay.

Throw out the previews and the Media Day predictions because everything is about to change.  Assistant Coaches and possibly Head Coaches will be removed while eligibility of student-athletes hangs in the balance.  It’s a time of uncertainty finding out when the next shoe drops.

It is entirely possible that this FBI investigation is not isolated to College Basketball.

Coaches are commenting on the matter when asked by the media and the contrast in statements made by Alabama Head Coach Avery Johnson and Georgia Head Coach Mark Fox were stunningly different.  Take it for what you will.

One Last Note

When acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim put out the Hotline to report criminal activity as it pertains to this probe, it is not intended to be a joke nor is it an opportunity for immature stupidity.  This Hotline is for the reporting of FEDERAL CRIMES.  Falsely reporting a Federal Crime or intentionally giving false information is a criminal action.  There may be idiotic pranksters in the State of Alabama or Tennessee that think this would be funny to do, but it is not funny when FBI Agents come knocking on your door.

If you definitively know of criminal activity (not NCAA rules nonsense) taking place that is connected to this FBI Investigation, call the Hotline set up at (212)-384-2135.

4 comments

  1. The contrast between Johnson’s “I’m shocked, shocked!” and Fox’s “This confirms what we already knew” was vivid, and, as you said, telling..

    I am cynical about, among other things, how sincere the NCAA is about making the head coaches responsible for assistants’ behavior (more likely with Pearl, not so sure about Pitino) and how likely the NCAA will buy the unbelievable Cam Newton defense of “I didn’t know Daddy got paid.” Depends on how high profile the player is, I guess..

    To steal a Winston Churchill quote, “AN empty cab pulled up to the curb and Greg Sankey got out.” That guy is only good at bragging about how physically fit he is. The “It Just Means More” Conference needs a real leader at this point.

  2. I respectfully disagree. Yesterday was one of the best days for college basketball and all other college sports in a long time. It was a dark day for the smug individuals at the NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis and the cheaters they enable. With money and power comes corruption and fraud. With corruption and fraud comes the US Department of Justice! With all the money being poured on the Big 5 conferences, nothing surprises. Hopefully DOJ forms a task force to root out more fraud in ALL college sports. Also, there is no way this is limited to assistant coaches. It’s exciting to think of the statements that those arrested yesterday will provide to save their own hides. I’m very hopeful that this is an investigation working from the bottom up! The hammer needs to fall on some head coaches and ADs. Yesterday was a great day for those not cheating and playing by the rules!

  3. I am very surprised the Federales didn’t dive further into “The Network” and look at how AAU and high school coaches are also signing “personal service contracts” with the shoe companies. Those guys definitely aren’t also on the take to steer their kids to colleges or agents… Maybe it is the next shoe to drop.

  4. The IRS is definitely keeping an eye on this but are probably already involved. There are a lot of taxes not being paid.

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