Report: Dozens of major programs could be subject to NCAA scrutiny in FBI probe
Attorneys for three defendants in the case will argue Thursday for the dismissal of federal charges
The two-year FBI probe into corruption in college basketball could result in more than just the charges already levied against the coaches and individuals implicated last fall.
According to a report from ESPN, the ongoing FBI investigation that continues to cast a cloud over the sport could result in potential NCAA penalties for as many as three dozen Division I programs, several of which reportedly could be upper-tier programs.
"It's not the mid-major programs who were trying to buy players to get to the top," a source reportedly told ESPN. "It's the teams that are already there."
Here's more details from the ESPN report.
Regardless what happens with the criminal cases, sources with knowledge of the FBI investigation told ESPN this week that the clandestine probe could result in potential NCAA violations for as many as three dozen Division I programs, based on information included in wiretap conversations from the defendants and financial records, emails and cell phone records seized from NBA agent Andy Miller. His office was raided on the same day the FBI arrested 10 men, including four assistant coaches, in late September.
On Thursday morning, attorneys representing former Adidas executives James Gatto and Merl Code and former sports agent Christian Dawkins are expected to argue in U.S. District Court in New York that what their clients are accused of doing -- funneling money from Adidas to recruits in an effort to nefariously land players at Adidas-sponsored schools -- doesn't constitute a federal crime.
The arguments come just days afteragainst former AAU program director Brad Augustine in the corruption and bribery scandal. Federal documents allege that Augustine, who ran the 1-Family AAU program in Florida, accepted money from an undercover FBI agent and was involved in a plan to funnel $150,000 to an unnamed recruit. According to the ESPN report, the charges were dismissed because evidence showed Augustine never gave the money to the high school player in question, and instead kept the money for himself.
Although uncertainty surrounding the FBI investigation has led to speculation this season about which programs might or might not be dinged in the case, it's important to note here that the NCAA hasn't taken any sweeping actions against programs as a result of the probe. And while the consensus seems to be that more dominoes will eventually fall in the case, things have been quiet of late.
By the look of things though, the investigation might be rounding a corner soon if the reported three dozen programs could be impacted as a result of the probe.
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