Source: Indictments expected next week in college hoops scandal

Dan Wetzel
Columnist

A federal grand jury in New York is expected next week to indict all 10 men involved in the college basketball fraud and corruption case that has rocked the sport, a source told Yahoo Sports.

The grand jury action would officially charge the men with a slew of offenses stemming from a three-year FBI-led investigation into how top basketball talent is funneled through the NCAA by shoe companies, sports agents, financial planners, AAU coaches and assistant coaches.

The charges are but a formality but would negate the need for a Nov. 9 preliminary hearing in New York scheduled last month by Judge Katherine Parker.

Attorneys for the men involved, including assistant coaches from Arizona, Auburn, Oklahoma State and USC, will now be able to begin the discovery process and properly assess what evidence the federal government has on their clients. Right now the defense only has the charging document to go on.

A number of schools have been caught up in the scandal, which also violates NCAA rules. (AP file photo)

A judge will also be assigned the case, allowing attorneys to gauge sentencing history and thus use that while weighing any interest in cooperating with prosecutors.

It’s not believed that any of the men have made a deal with federal authorities at this time. The government is expected to seek additional information on additional names and schools involved in what the basketball world long considered an open secret but never thought was an actual federal crime.

At the late September announcement of the arrests, FBI assistant director William Sweeney asked anyone with information on these acts to come forward, even those not yet in contact with authorities.

“We have your playbook,” Sweeney said. “The investigation is ongoing.”

The indictments would push the case forward and serve as a starting point for further discussion. While technically some of the men face decades in prison, under the most often followed sentencing practices that drops to no more than 11 years and likely less than four, according to defense attorneys.

The men expected to be indicted are: Chuck Person (Auburn); Emanuel “Book” Richardson (Arizona); Lamont Evans (Oklahoma State); Tony Bland (USC); James Gatto (Adidas executive)’ Merl Code (Adidas executive); Christian Dawkins (former employee of agency that represents NBA players); Munish Sood (financial adviser); Jonathan Brad Augustine (Florida-based AAU coach); and Rashan Michel (former NBA referee and current custom-suit salesman).

A number of other schools have been caught up in the scandal, which also violates NCAA rules, even if no one associated with the program has been charged with a crime. Most notably that includes the University of Louisville, which fired Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino after a plan to allegedly have Adidas pay $100,000 to a Cardinal recruit was uncovered on a secret FBI recording.

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