Federal officials on Tuesday announced criminal charges against 10 people, including four college-basketball assistant coaches, in a corruption investigation. The charges include bribery, corruption, and fraud. The coaches are accused of receiving kickbacks for arranging for players to select certain professionals for management and financial services once they made it into the National Basketball Association.
In the criminal complaints, the Federal Bureau of Investigation outlined recorded conversations in which the defendants often spoke extremely candidly, sometimes using profanity. Here are some of the choicest bits from the complaints:
1. Chuck Person, an associate head coach at Auburn University, allegedly pressured the mother of a player into retaining a certain financial adviser by telling her that he was a financial adviser to the Hall of Famer Charles Barkley — a claim that the FBI says isn’t true. This was one of several falsehoods that the coach told the player’s mother in an effort to sway her, according to the FBI.
2. Why weren’t any head coaches implicated? Christian Dawkins, who was working to start his own sports-management company, may have provided the beginnings of an answer in a wiretapped phone call: He said the best way to reach players was through assistant coaches because “the head coach … ain’t willing to [take bribes] ‘cause they’re making too much money. And it’s too risky.”
3. One takeaway from the investigation is a series of unwholesome connections between the stately amateur world of college athletics and commercial interests. In reference to an unspecified coach of the University of Louisville’s men’s basketball team, Jonathan Augustine, president of a nonprofit organization that works with high-school athletes, said that “no one swings a bigger dick” at an unnamed global apparel company, presumably Adidas.
He continued: “All [the coach has to do] is pick up the phone and call somebody, [and say] these are my guys, they’re taking care of us.”