College basketball corruption trial: Ex-Adidas exec sentenced to nine months in prison, two others for six months
The first of three trials that deals with corruption in college basketball has wrapped
Sentencing was handed down Tuesday in New York City for the three men who were found guilty in October of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, who resided over the case, sentenced former Adidas executive Jim Gatto to nine months in prison; former Adidas consultant Merl Code to six months in prison; and former go-between/aspiring sports agent Christian Dawkins to six months.
The case awaits appeal, and in the interim, the men will remain free. A sentencing date for each of them has not been established, pending what happens with their appeals.
In October, a jury found Gatto guilty on all three of his counts and Dawkins and Code guilty to each of their pairs afterthat the three men conspired to defraud the University of Louisville and the University of Kansas.
According to a reporter on the scene in the courtroom, Kaplan also said Tuesday's sentencing should act as "a great big warning light to the basketball world." The Associated Press also reported that, while Kaplan acknowledged the realities of what's happened for decades in college basketball's recruiting scene, he insisted that Gatto, Dawkins and Code "all knew what they were doing was wrong."
Prior to sentencing on Tuesday, Kaplan also invoked the name of Hall of Famer/former Louisville coach Rick Pitino, who lost his job in the early stages of this story after it broke in the fall of 2017.
The sentencing comes in advance of Code and Dawkins' next trial, which is scheduled to begin April 22. Their respective lawyers have not indicated that their clients will be agreeing to plea deals prior to that trial getting underway. Assistant coaches from Arizona, Oklahoma State and USC who were also named in that specific case have already plead guilty and await sentencing later in the year.
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