Following a “yearslong investigation” that involved undercover agents, confidential informants, and wiretapped phones, criminal charges have been brought against four assistant basketball coaches and an Adidas marketing executive as “part of a sweeping crackdown on alleged corruption,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
“In one of several alleged schemes outlined Tuesday by federal prosecutors in New York, a top Adidas executive worked with others including a sports agent and a financial adviser to funnel tens of thousands of dollars to the families of high-school recruits to induce them to sign with major-college programs including Louisville.”
Louisville, for what it’s worth, is still dealing with the fallout from their last scandal, which also involved assistant coaches and recruits, but sex workers instead of sneakers and cash. They’re running a tight ship over there.
Also named in the charges were assistant coaches from the University of Arizona, Oklahoma State, USC, and the University of South Carolina, who were allegedly paid bribes “with hopes of securing stars as clients after they enter the NBA.”
Putting aside the fact that Adidas isn’t exactly known for their basketball shoes, these allegations are brave new territory for corruption in college athletics, where this type of activity was always kind of suspected but never proved.
What effect these allegations will have on the world’s second largest athletic apparel manufacturer – and current Wall Street darling –
remain to be seen. But, given this one’s breadth, it could get pretty juicy…
UPDATE: Louisville has placed both their head basketball coach, Rick Pitino, and their Athletic Director, Tom Jurich, on paid administrative leave in response to the allegations, according to the Washington Post, and both are expected to be officially fired in the near future, once the termination clauses in their respective contracts are ironed out.
You can read more about it (and there’s so much more) at The Wall Street Journal.