NCAA coaches among 10 charged with fraud and corruption

Source: MGN

NEW YORK (AP) - Federal prosecutors have announced charges of fraud and corruption in college basketball, including against four coaches.

The coaches work at Oklahoma State, Auburn University, Arizona and the University of Southern California.

They were among 10 people charged in New York City federal court. Others included managers, financial advisers and representatives of a major international sportswear company.

In court papers, prosecutors said the FBI has since 2015 been investigating the criminal influence of money on charges and student-athletes who participate in intercollegiate basketball governed by the NCAA.

They said the probe has revealed numerous instances of bribes paid by athlete advisers, including financial advisers and associate basketball coaches, to assistant and associate basketball coaches to exert influence over student athletes.

Auburn University says it has suspended its assistant coach, Chuck Person, accused of taking a $50,000 bribe in exchange for steering a player into doing business with a certain financial adviser.

Person was arrested in Alabama Tuesday.

The university said in a statement that Person had been suspended without pay effective immediately.

Person was the associate head coach at Auburn. He played in the NBA for 13 seasons.

His lawyer didn't immediately respond to a phone message requesting comment.

Adidas says it's unaware of any misconduct at its company in connection with the college basketball bribe-paying scheme but will "fully cooperate with authorities."

The company issued a statement Tuesday after federal prosecutors announced that its director of global sports marketing, James Gatto, is charged.

Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim says the investigation was "covert until today."

The head of New York's FBI office, William F. Sweeney Jr., says the probe is still active and investigators are conducting interviews "as we speak."

Federal investigators say a group of business advisers to athletes used thousands of dollars in Adidas money to make payments to top high school basketball players to get them to attend certain schools.