David Salinas, while not working as an investment adviser, ran a well-known basketball camp in Houston, but on Sunday he was found dead as a result of a possible suicide, as originally reported by CBSSports.com.
The pieces of the puzzle in determining why he committed suicide are beginning to come together as it seems as though Salinas had run a Ponzi scheme that failed and that much of the investments came from college basketball coaches. SI.com has the full details.
More than a dozen current and former college coaches -- including Texas Tech's Billy Gillispie, Arizona's Lute Olson, Baylor's Scott Drew and Gonzaga's Mark Few -- are believed to have lost investments most recently valued at over $7.8 million combined with the late Houston-area businessman and AAU basketball operator J. David Salinas, sources close to the matter tell SI.com.
According to SI.com, Gillispie's invested $2.3 million in the scheme while Olson invested $1.17 million, Drew' invested $621,000 and Few invested $353,000.
Salinas was in the midst of a months-long investigation into his businesses by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The full list of college basketball coach investors includes Nebraska coach Doc Sadler, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi coach Willis Wilson ($642,000); Gonzaga assistant Ray Giacoletti, United States Merchant Marine Academy coach Danny Nee, Augustana College coach Grey Giovanine and former Houston and Nevada coach Pat Foster.
Baylor football coach Art Briles and former Houston football coach Bill Yeoman are also on the list of investors.
Where things begin to get sticky is when you compare the list of college coaches that invested with Salinas to the colleges that top players on his AAU team ended up at. It's not hard to note a pattern that includes Gonzaga, Arizona and Nebraska.
Former University of Houston basketball coach Tom Penders told The Daily that Salinas once solicited a $100K investment from him, implying that doing so would help him gain access to Salinas' prospects.
The NCAA has not commented on the matter yet and there is no existing NCAA bylaw prohibits coaches from investing in this way, though the conflict of interest that comes with investing money with an AAU coach who also sends his players to your university will not go unnoticed.
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