Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced charges stemming from an FBI investigation into top NCAA basketball programs that also involved a corrupt scheme with a major sportswear company.
Although the University of Miami is not named directly in the 100-page indictment, and none of its coaches have been charged, it appears to be one of the schools implicated in the pay-for-play scandal, identified in the documents as “University-7.” In the report, it says from May to September 2017, Gatto (“aka Jim”) was scheming with four associates to funnel payments totaling $150,0000 “at the request of at least one coach” to a “top” Class of 2018 high school recruit labeled “Player12” to attend “a private research university located in Florida.
The four assistant coaches arrested in the probe were Auburn’s Chuck Person (the former NBA player), Arizona’s Emanuel Richardson, USC’s Tony Bland and Oklahoma State’s Lamont Evans.
Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said the investigation exposed “the dark underbelly” of college basketball, and showed that the implicated coaches, agents, and apparel company representatives were “circling blue-chip prospects like coyotes.” According to the report, the FBI wiretapped a call “on or about Aug.
11, and in that call, there was more discussion of the unnamed coach being aware that payments were being promised to ensure the highly-touted recruit didn’t sign with a rival school sponsored by a rival apparel company that “allegedly had sponsored the athlete a large sum of money.” The high school player in question is not named, but five-star forward Nassir Little of Orange Park, Fla, plays for Augustine’s AAU team and in August narrowed his choices to Duke, North Carolina, Arizona, Georgia Tech, and Miami.