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The FBI’s investigation of college basketball corruption, explained

Everything you need to know about the FBI’s sweeping college basketball scandal.

NCAA Basketball Tournament - East Regional - Wisconsin v Florida Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The world of college basketball was rocked Tuesday when four assistant coaches were indicted by federal authorities for their alleged involvement in fraud and corruption schemes that also included representatives of a major international sportswear company, managers, and financial advisers.

How did the schemes work?

The acting U.S. Attorney Southern District of New York, Joon Kim, showed two diagrams of the alleged schemes during a press conference on Tuesday:

Who are the coaches involved? What are they accused of doing?

Lamont Evans, an Oklahoma State assistant coach

Evans allegedly accepted $22,000 in bribes to steer current athletes to the University of South Carolina. He also allegedly did the same while at Oklahoma State with Dawkins and Sood.

Emanuel Richardson, an Arizona assistant coach

Richardson allegedly accepted bribes from UC-1 (an undercover agent), Dawkins, and Sood. Some of the money was retained by Richardson, and some was given to a recruit named in documents as “Player-5” with the intention for Richardson to steer Arizona players to retain Dawkins and Sood as a manager and financial advisor, respectively.

Anthony Bland, a USC assistant coach

Bland allegedly took $13,000 in bribes from Dawkins, Sood, and UC-1 to steer USC players to retain Dawkins and Sood as their manager and financial advisor, respectively. Bland also directed Dawkins and Sood to pay $9,000 to the families of two student athletes at the university.

Chuck Person, associate head coach at Auburn

Rashan Michel, a founder of a clothing company based in Atlanta and former NBA and college referee introduced Person to “CW-1” (a cooperating witness), who had a financial advisory/business management service. Then $91,000 in bribes were allegedly given for Person to influence Auburn players to use CW-1’s service along with Michel’s suit business.

What are the charges?

Jim Gatto, Merl Code, Christian Dawkins, Jonathan Augustine, and Munish Sood face charges of:

  • Wire fraud conspiracy
  • Two counts of wire fraud
  • Money laundering conspiracy

Lamont Evans, Emanuel Richardson, Anthony Bland, Christian Dawkins, and Munish Sood face charges of:

  • Conspiracy to commit bribery
  • Solicitation of bribes and gratuities by an agent of a federally-funded organization (Lamont Evans, Emanuel Richardson, and Anthony Bland)
  • Solicitation of bribes and gratuities by an agent of a federally-funded organization (Christian Dawkins and Munish Sood)
  • Conspiracy to commit Honest Services Fraud
  • Honest services wire fraud (South Carolina, Oklahoma State, Arizona, USC)
  • Wire fraud conspiracy
  • Travel act conspiracy

Chuck Person and Rashan Michel face charges of:

  • Conspiracy
  • Solicitation of bribes
  • Conspiracy to commit honest services fraud
  • Honest services fraud
  • Conspiracy to commit wire fraud
  • Travel act conspiracy

What schools are involved?

In a complaint on the Department of Justice’s website, the enrollment numbers and states listed for schools named “University-6” and “University-7” appear to identify Louisville and Miami. South Carolina, Oklahoma State, Arizona, and USC are named because of assistant coaches who took allegedly bribes.

Allegations involving Louisville

Complaints allege that James Gatto (director of global sports marketing for Adidas), Merl Code (an Adidas employee involved with high school and college basketball programs), Christian Dawkins (an employee of an agency through May 2017), and Munish Sood (founder of an investment services company) as well as others conspired to illicitly funnel $100,000 from Adidas to a player identified as “Player-10.” That player is believed to be McDonald’s All-American Brian Bowen, who committed to Louisville in June.

Dawkins, Sood, and “UC-1” allegedly paid the father of Bowen an initial $25,000 in an attempt to secure his commitment to the university. However, there was a delay in securing $100,000 from Adidas to pay the player’s family, in which Code told Dawkins that he might have to “lean on” a senior executive at Adidas to finance the payments.

There was then a meeting three days later on July 27, where Dawkins, Augustine, UC-1, CW-1, and a Louisville coach discussed payments from Adidas to another high school basketball player. Later, UC-1 introduced Dawkins to another undercover government agent, acting as a business associate of his. Dawkins then explains the different schemes used to defraud by him and the other defendants.

Financial records show that funds from Adidas were used to reimburse Dawkins for the initial $25,000 payment to Bowen’s father. Bowen’s father and Jonathan Augustine continue to receive payments to ensure that they would remain with the agency Dawkins aimed to start in the future.

Allegations involving Miami

Merl Code and Christian Dawkins discussed the apparent involvement of a University of Miami coach in ensuring that Adidas would funnel payments to a player in the class of 2018 identified as “Player-12” to secure his commitment to play at the school.

The defendants also allegedly discussed a $150,000 payment to Player-12 to ensure he would choose what appears to be the University of Miami over a “rival university.” On a phone call, Code informed Gatto they had “another Louisville situation,” apparently describing the involvement between Bowen and that school.

Was the NCAA involved?

No. The FBI’s investigation was covert until Tuesday, after arrests were made Monday night and Tuesday morning. The FBI has also opened up a phone number for information relevant to their NCAA investigation.

Is this unprecedented?

Yes. Typically you hear of the NCAA handling infractions against schools and the like. However, because of the illegal actions outlined above, the FBI got involved. At their press conference, they would not take a stand for or against the NCAA, only to say that their job was to enforce the law and protect players and families being taken advantage of.