NEW YORK - Coaches and sports businesses conspired to bribe the families of high school basketball players in exchange for commitments to certain universities and endorsement deals, according to a federal lawsuit announced Tuesday morning.
A news conference was scheduled to officially announce major charges of fraud and corruption in NCAA basketball, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
In a news release Tuesday morning, federal criminal charges have been brought against 10 people, including four college basketball coaches, as well as managers, financial advisors and representatives of a major international sportswear company.
In one lawsuit, the U.S. Attorney’s Office accuses James Gatto, listed online as the director of global marketing for Adidas, of funneling payments to high school basketball players’ families.
Gatto allegedly conspired with universities to pay high school players in exchange for their commitment to play at the university. The player’s family would then receive cash payments totaling $100,000 from third parties in exchange for the player’s commitment to sign with Adidas after his college career, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit against Gatto includes two universities, though it does not name them outright. One is a university in Kentucky, the other is a university in Florida.
The allegations refer to a player who was an All-American high school athlete in the class of 2017, who changed his commitment to play for the university in Kentucky. The investigation tracked the allegations against Gatto from May 2017 until September 2017.
Another defendant named in the suit conspired to "funnel money to [a] player who was expected to graduated in 2019, stating that 'the mom is like ... we need our f****** money.'"
According to the lawsuit, coaches were closely involved in the plans to funnel cash to players in exchange for directing players through the institution and back to a sports representative company involved in the allegations.
SDNY announces major charges of fraud & corruption in NCAA basketball @ noon press conference. https://t.co/a9A7etu8Y1— US Attorney SDNY (@SDNYnews) September 26, 2017
You can read the full lawsuits here:
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