THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION: New Colleges Are Named in Basketball-Corruption Inquiry

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education
Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education

The Chronicle of Higher Education issued the following announcement on April 11.

Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesThe U. of Kansas is now among the institutions named as part of the FBI's probe into alleged corruption in college basketball, according to a Tuesday indictment.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York on Tuesday named the University of Kansas and North Carolina State University in a new indictmentinvolving corruption and basketball recruits, part of the investigation that rocked college basketball in September. The indictment also detailed corruption charges against basketball recruits at the Universities of Louisville and of Miami.

In September, federal prosecutors charged 10 people, including four college-basketball coaches and the Adidas executive James Gatto, with bribery, fraud, and corruption. The September indictment linked Auburn and Oklahoma State Universities, and the Universities of Arizona and of Southern California to the corruption case. And the Universities of Louisville and of Miami were widely reported to be the unnamed institutions in the 2017 indictment.


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The new indictment affirms much of the previous one, but it adds the new charge that at least $90,000 in payments were made to a Kansas recruit. A Kansas spokesman emphasized the university’s role in the investigation in a statement on Tuesday.

“Earlier today, we learned that the University of Kansas is named as a victim in a federal indictment,” the statement said. “The indictment does not suggest any wrongdoing by the university, its coaches, or its staff.”

The indictment also states that in 2015, James Gatto, then an executive for the sports-apparel company Adidas, transferred about $40,000 from his company to the father of a top high-school recruit to “help secure” his commitment to North Carolina State, and that the student would later sign a sponsorship contract with the company after entering the National Basketball Association.

While the indictment does not cite any wrongdoings by the universities themselves, it does include allegations against coaches, like the accusation that a former N.C. State coach delivered the $40,000 payment from Adidas to the a recruit’s father in person.

“While there are no indictments against former N.C. State employees, the document includes allegations of a payment in 2015 from an athletics-apparel company to an unidentified parent of a student-athlete through a former unidentified N.C. State coach,” a statement from the university said on Tuesday. “As the indictment stated, the payment was designed to be concealed, including from the NCAA and officials at N.C. State.”

In February, a Yahoo Sports report indicated that other universities may soon be implicated in the FBI’s investigation because their players had reportedly taken cash advances — including meal and travel payments and payments to family members — from a former NBA agent, his associate, and their agency.

The investigation has toppled leadership at some university sports programs. When initial charges surfaced in September, Louisville fired its Hall of Fame coach, Rick Pitino.

Lawyers for Coach Jim Larrañaga of Miami denied his and Miami’s involvement in the case.

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