The FBI’s investigation into college basketball corruption has already turned up several big names, including assistant coaches at prominent programs and apparel company representatives. The charges brought by federal prosecutors on Tuesday revolve around alleged bribery and fraud schemes.
Here are the most important names and entities to know after the initial wave of charges and complaints. This will be updated as we learn more.
- The FBI: The actual government entity that, unlike the NCAA, is capable of complete and detailed investigations, using subpoenas and all. During a Sept. 26 briefing, FBI assistant director Bill Sweeney and acting U.S. attorney Joon H. Kim said the investigation continues, meaning more names will join this list.
- The NCAA: The college sports self-governing body was as surprised to learn about all this as you were, but it’s safe to say NCAA sanctions will eventually follow in the FBI’s wake.
College basketball coaches
- Arizona assistant Emanuel Richardson: Richardson allegedly accepted bribes from “runner” Christian Dawkins and financial adviser Muhish Sood for steering Arizona players to work with them as professionals. Dawkins, then an agent, was also seen at Arizona practices, which is an NCAA violation in itself. Richardson has been an assistant under Sean Miller since his Xavier days in 2007, coming over to Arizona in 2009. He has been arrested on fraud and corruption charges. Arizona suspended Richardson and relieved him of all duties. He has been released on $100K bond after appearing in court.
- Auburn associate head coach Chuck Person: Person allegedly agreed to take $50,000 in bribes from Rashan Michel to push prominent college athletes to work with him as the owner of an Atlanta-based clothing company. As a 13-year NBA veteran, Person is the most prominent name in this report. He has been arrested and suspended without pay. He has been released on $100K bond after appearing in court.
- Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl: Not named in the complaints, but he has a long history with the NCAA. Most notably, Pearl was given a three-year show-cause penalty for lying to the NCAA about hosting recruit Aaron Craft at a BBQ in 2008. Pearl hired Person in 2014.
- Oklahoma State assistant Lamont Evans: Evans allegedly accepted $22,000 in bribes to steer athletes at South Carolina and then Oklahoma State to become clients of Dawkins and Sood. He coached at South Carolina for four seasons before leaving in 2016 to join Brad Underwood’s staff at Oklahoma State. He was suspended, with pay, by the university on Tuesday. Oklahoma State went on to fire him on Thursday.
- USC assistant Tony Bland: Bland allegedly took $13,000 in bribes from Dawkins and Sood. He also allegedly had Dawkins and Sood pay $9,000 to the families of two athletes at USC. He was placed on immediate administrative leave by the university. He has been released on $100K bond after appearing in court.
- The South Carolina Gamecocks, aka “University-2:” Evans’ former employer.
- The Louisville Cardinals, aka “University-6:” The FBI is alleging the school agreed to pay a recruit $100,000 that was paid through Adidas and also discussed a payment to another future recruit to secure his commitment. The current recruit in question appears to be McDonald’s All-American shooting guard Brian Bowen. The school is already on probation with the NCAA for an escort scandal in 2015.
- Louisville head coach Rick Pitino: Louisville placed Pitino on administrative leave on Wednesday. He was “effectively fired,” according to his lawyer. Not named in the complaints, but no stranger to NCAA scandals. Pitino was already suspended for the first five games of ACC play for his role in Louisville’s escort scandal. If you like irony, here’s what Pitino said when Bowen committed in June:
"We got lucky on this one," Pitino told Terry Meiners of News Radio 840. "I had an AAU director call me and ask me if I'd be interested in a player (Bowen). I saw him against another great player from Indiana. I said 'Yeah, I'd be really interested.' They had to come in unofficially, pay for their hotel, pay for their meals. We spent zero dollars recruiting a five-star athlete who I loved when I saw him play. In my 40 years of coaching this is the luckiest I've been."
- The Miami Hurricanes, aka “University-7:” The school is alleged to have had an assistant coach work with Adidas executive James Gatto to arrange a payment of $150,000 to a potential 2018 recruit. Gatto and the coach were reportedly worried the recruit would take another bribe for approximately just as much from a rival school and rival apparel company.
Apparel and agents
- Adidas, aka “Company-1:” Employees and affiliates of the sportswear brand have been charged. Adidas’ formal ties to college basketball include the programs it sponsors as well as AAU teams featuring elite recruits on its travel circuit. A company representative allegedly agreed to make two payments totaling $250,000 to recruits to attend schools they sponsor.
The following individuals have all been charged:
- James Gatto: The director of global sports marketing for Adidas is accused of working with coaches to bribe recruits to attend Adidas-sponsored basketball programs. The 47-year-old has worked for the company for 23 years.
- Merl Code: An Adidas employee, Code is with its high school and college basketball programs. He also worked as director of youth basketball for a rival company (not named, but identifiable as Nike). He has been released on $100K bond after appearing in court.
- Jonathan Brad Augustine: Program director for an amateur high school-aged team (AAU), sponsored by Adidas. Also president of a charity registered in Florida.
- Christian Dawkins: Employee of an athlete agency through May 2017. Wasn’t an agent, but a “runner.” Wants to start his own agency.
- Muhish Sood: Founder of an investment services company.
- Rashan Michel: Founder/operator of a clothing company based in Atlanta and a former NBA and college referee. Best known for being punched by Dominique Wilkins a few years ago. He has been released on $100K bond after appearing in court.