A report by Sports Illustrated's Pablo S. Torre from Tuesday afternoon adds not only context but real gravity to the severity of the David Salinas situation.
On Sunday night, Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman broke the news that Salinas, a man from Houston who funded the Houston Select AAU basketball team and was also a booster to Houston, Wichita State and Rice universities, was found dead. It was believed to be a suicide. Many coaches were financially involved with Salinas, who was and still is being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Torre's report uncovered the known losses tied to Salinas to be a staggering $7.8 million among dozens of coaches, primarily from college basketball. His case has also now caught the attention of the FBI, according to Torre. That's because many more millions are missing from folks outside the athletic arena.
Among the coaches identified in SI's story -- many of whom were confirmed from the CBSSports.com initial report -- were Billy Gillispie, Mark Few, Scott Drew and Lute Olson (pictured), who has been out of the game for a few years.
Gillispie has reportedly lost more than anyone in Salinas' Ponzi scheme, with Olson also flushing more than a million away.
According to documents reviewed by SI.com, the value of Gillispie's investment alone was purported to be $2.3 million; Olson's, $1.17 million; Drew's, $621,000; Few's, $353,000. ... SI.com has identified Few and former Rice, Wichita State and Cornell basketball coach Scott Thompson (investment most recently valued at $65,000) as the latest names to be added to an initial list of nine basketball coaches first reported by CBSSports.com. Those nine included: Gillispie; Olson; Drew; Nebraska coach Doc Sadler ($38,000); Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (and former Rice) coach Willis Wilson ($642,000); Gonzaga assistant (and former Utah head coach) Ray Giacoletti ($1.2 million); United States Merchant Marine Academy (and former Nebraska) coach Danny Nee ($23,000); Augustana College coach Grey Giovanine ($533,000); and former Houston and Nevada coach Pat Foster. Save for Foster, SI.com was able to independently confirm each of those individuals as clients of Salinas.
Salinas' tentacles reached beyond the college hoops world, though. The SI story states that football coaches from Texas, Baylor and Houston were duped, as well as Rudy Davalos, who was once the athletic director at New Mexico as well as an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs. Beyond that, plenty of other folks not involved in sports have lost money, and the expected total of assets lost could clear into the tens of millions of dollars, if not hundreds.
It seems we've only just begun with this saga. There are more names to come out, surely, and more money to be discovered as lost. Then ... the NCAA. What will it do about this? Nothing for a while, rest assured. The federal authorities will sift through this monstrosity of a catastrophe before the NCAA can even step through the threshold.
But the evidence will hang in the air until the NCAA gets its chance to speak. You have a man, now dead, who was tied into an AAU program. Myriad coaches were investing money with him for personal interest in inflating their assets. And that's supposed to not influence where players may have gone to college? This is an entirely new scenario, one without precedent for the NCAA to try and get its thick fingers around.
The fallout's only just begun. Will there be a paper trail? Will we see retroactive retribution from the NCAA if it can uncover any wrongdoing on behalf of the coaches? The coaches who trusted Salinas so much with their money, why wouldn't they trust him to help steer a player to this program or that one?
We've never seen it all. There's always another skeleton waiting to be unearthed.
The really interesting aspect about this situation is you've got all these coaches who've lost all this money, right? And few things make people as angry and chatty as losing significant portions of their wealth. Significant portions. But now they're going to be caught in a quandary. Bad enough that this is a public embarrassment for them, they can't talk too much on the subject, lest they risk implicating themselves. Only so much anger and dispersal of disappointment can be distributed before traceable illicit behavior on the recruiting trail surfaces as well.
Be mad and confused and angry as hell at Salinas over this mess but don't talk out of turn. Seems there could be a domino waiting to get the line clicking with one flick from a coach's mouth.
Welcome to the newest rabbit hole of intercollegiate sports.