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Arizona assistant basketball coach among 10 charged with corruption

(Instagram Photo)

NEW YORK — Federal prosecutors have announced charges of fraud and corruption in college basketball, including against University of Arizona assistant coach Emanuel Richardson.

In all, 10 were charged in New York City federal court.

Other coaches arrested were Anthony “Tony” Bland, an assistant coach at the University of Southern California; Chuck Connors Person, associate head coach at Auburn University; and Lamont Evans, associate head coach and recruiting coordinator for Oklahoma State University’s basketball team.

Legal documents said Richardson, Evans, sports agent Christian Dawkins and Munish Sood of Princeton Advisory Group, “willfully and knowingly did combine, conspire, confederate, and agree together and with each other to commit honest services with wire fraud.”

Noncoaches arrested included managers, financial advisers and representatives of a major international sportswear company. The details will be discussed at a news conference on Tuesday afternoon.

Richardson has been with the program since 2009. His chief responsibility is recruiting.

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott called the accusations “upsetting.”

“They strike fear at the heart of the integrity of our programs and of the game that so many people love and play the right way,” he said in a statement.

In court papers, prosecutors said the FBI has since 2015 been investigating the criminal influence of money on charges and student-athletes who participate in intercollegiate basketball governed by the NCAA.

They said the probe has revealed numerous instances of bribes paid by athlete advisers, including financial advisers and associate basketball coaches, to assistant and associate basketball coaches to exert influence over student athletes.

In criminal complaints, investigators said basketball coaches have the ability to provide access to the student-athletes to sports agents, financial advisers, business managers and others.

“Moreover, many such coaches have enormous influence over the student-athletes who play for them, in particular with respect to guiding those student-athletes through the process of selecting agents and other advisers when they prepare to leave college and enter the NBA,” the complaints said.

“The investigation has revealed several instances in which coaches have exercised that influence by steering players and their families to retain particular advisers, not because of the merits of those advisers, but because
the coaches were being bribed by the advisers to do so,” the papers said.

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